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How can consumers protect their rights in case of violation?


Date of publication of material: 07/29/2019

Last update: 07/29/2019

Unfortunately, unscrupulous manufacturers and sellers are found on our way very often. What to do if you bought low-quality goods? Following this simple step-by-step instruction compiled by the lawyers of the CenterSoviet portal you can protect your consumer rights.

Step One - Written Claim

If the seller refuses to make contact and fulfill your legal requirements (change defective goods, return money for a low-quality product), you need to submit a written claim with the stated requirements.

The claim is made in free form, and must contain the following information:

  • Your data (name, address, contact phone number),
  • Organization data (store name, address, name of the head), this information you can find in your contract, on the cash receipt or in the “Consumer Corner” of the store,
  • A summary of the essence of the conflict,
  • Your requirements (refund, replacement of goods, compensation for damage, etc.),
  • Desired deadline for fulfilling your requirements,
  • Date and signature.

In the event that you attach any documents to the claim (copies of receipts, warranty cards, etc.), then all of them must be listed in the text of the claim. Pay special attention to the fact that in no case can the original documents be submitted with a claim! They should remain in your hands, as evidence of the purchase of goods in this store.

The claim must be written by you in two copies: the first you give to the seller, the second, on which the store representative must put the date and his signature, remains with you, as confirmation that the claim was received by the seller. In the event that the store refuses to accept and sign a claim, you have the right to send it by registered mail with a notice of delivery.

Step two - going to court

If you received a written refusal in response to your claim, then you will have to go to court to protect your consumer rights. Appeal to the court is a serious step, therefore, before making a statement of claim, make sure that your requirements comply with the current legislation of the Russian Federation, and that you can confirm the violation of your rights and, if necessary, provide witnesses.

You can write a lawsuit to the court yourself or contact a lawyer for assistance in drafting. The application can be, as written by hand, and printed and filed with the court in several copies (according to the number of defendants). For example, if you have three defendants, then you provide four copies of the applications - one remains in court, the other three are sent to the defendants. You can file a claim in person or by mail to the court at the location of the defendant.

If your claim is more than 50,000 rubles or you require compensation for non-pecuniary damage, you must contact the district court. In other cases, the statement of claim is sent to the justice of the peace.

Further, your actions depend on the decision of the court. If the claim is satisfied, then you need to contact the bailiff service for enforcement proceedings and forcible recovery from the defendant. In the same case, if the claim was not satisfied, you have the right to appeal the act to a higher court.

How can consumers protect their rights?

Of course, we all know that there is a “Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights” (Law of the Russian Federation of 07.02.1992 N 2300-1) based on which it is possible to solve most of the problems associated with violation of consumer rights.

Let's start with low-quality goods, because this category of disputes is the most common and know that if you sold goods of inadequate quality, then you have the right to present the following requirements to the seller based on clause 1 of article 18 of the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights:

  1. Demand to exchange the goods for exactly the same but without disadvantages,
  2. Require replacement with another or similar high-quality product with a corresponding recalculation of the purchase price up or down,
  3. Demand gratuitous elimination of deficiencies at the seller’s expense or payment of compensation for self-rectification of the deficiency,
  4. Demand a corresponding reduction in the price of the goods,
  5. Demand termination of the contract of sale and return of the sum of money paid for the goods,

If you bought technically sophisticated goods of inadequate quality, then you can make all of the above requirements within 15 days from the date of transfer of the goods to you, but after 15 days you can also return technically complex goods if:

  1. A significant shortage of goods was revealed,
  2. The deadlines for eliminating defects in the product
  3. You could not use the goods for more than 30 days in each year of the warranty period due to the fact that the goods were under warranty repair.

A complete guide to returning technically complex products from the link below:

Of course, according to the law, it doesn’t happen often and sometimes you have to argue with the seller, because there are cases when buyers bring the defective goods to the seller and the seller refuses to return money or exchange for it a lot, and in this situation you should prepare a claim and send it to the seller.

The claim must indicate to whom and from whom it is addressed. In the field to whom we write in the name of the director of such a store located at a specific address, or the name of an individual entrepreneur living at a particular address, we also indicate who your name and telephone number are about here.

There is no standardized claim form, therefore it is written in free form. In the text of the claim, describe what you bought, at what price, when and what shortcomings you identified. Next, describe the seller’s illegal actions because you were denied the exercise of your consumer rights and if you were denied the exchange or return of goods of inadequate quality, then it’s obvious that the seller violated paragraph 1 of article 18 of the Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights, and we indicate this. Then we demand either to return money for the goods or exchange the goods for a similar or the same one without marriage. We indicate the amount to be returned, as well as in what way they should return the money, in cash or to a card. We give the seller 10 days on the basis of article 22 of the "Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights" to fulfill your requirements. At the end of the claim we put your signature and initials.

The claim is made in 2 copies, after which we go to the store and submit the claim to the seller personally, after reviewing the claim, the seller must put a note on your copy on the acceptance of the claim and the date of acceptance (usually the seal or signature of the seller with the initials) , the incoming number and pass the instance with marks to you.

Why do you need an instance with marks? You see, the legislation on consumer protection presupposes a claim procedure for resolving a dispute, that is, until you file a claim and wait 10 days to fulfill your claim requirements, you cannot go to court or to Rospotrebnadzor, a claim procedure is mandatory. The second instance of the claim with acceptance marks is evidence that you tried to resolve the dispute peacefully and this instance is required in court and in Rosportbnadzor, because most disputes are resolved at the stage of filing a claim and do not reach the court and thus the courts solve the high load problem , since there are a lot of disputes on protecting consumer rights and an excellent solution when at least some of them are decided before the court, and if everyone went to court right away, the courts would simply be overwhelmed with claims that could be Addressing at the stage of the claim before the court.

And indeed, quite a few disputes are resolved precisely at the stage of filing a claim, because the seller having received the claim already sees that the consumer clearly knows his rights and is ready to go to court, and in court the situation is as follows! Many disputes are resolved in court in favor of the consumer, as practice has developed, moreover, on the basis of clause 6 of article 13 of the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights, the seller, in case of loss in court, pays a fine in the amount of 50% of the amount awarded in favor of the consumer the consumer by the court, that is, if the court awarded 20,000 rubles in favor of the consumer, the seller additionally pays the consumer a fine of 10,000 rubles and the seller knows this and when he realizes that he has nothing to catch in court, he usually agrees on the stage of receiving the claim I am a buyer and still fulfills its requirements.

It happens that the seller refuses to take your claim personally in hand, and in this case, we send the claim by mail, by registered mail with a description of the attachment and a notification of delivery to the address of the store or individual entrepreneur. After sending, you should have an inventory in your hands to confirm that you sent the claim and not the greeting card. After sending the letter within 2-3 days, go to the post office and receive a delivery receipt and this is a document that confirms that the addressee received your claim and the notification will include the date when the addressee received your claim and count 10 days from this date and if you don’t returned the money or did not fulfill your other requirement, then we prepare the documents and submit the store to the seller to the seller.

Based on the Tax Code of the Russian Federation, in cases of consumer protection, the state fee is not paid.

If the price of the claim is less than 50,000 rubles, then the lawsuit is filed with the justice of the peace, and if the price of the claim is more than 50,000 rubles, the lawsuit is considered by the district court. You can sue at your place of residence, which is more convenient and correct, but you can also sue at the location of the seller, here you have a choice.

I recommend hiring you an experienced lawyer, since there are not a few cases when people without legal practice got down to business and lost a promising business where there was every chance of success, so you definitely need the help of a lawyer.

If you want to refuse the service?

In terms of canceling the service, you also have quite a few rights, because on the basis of Article 32 of the Law on Protection of Consumer Rights, you can terminate the service contract at any time, but you still need to reimburse the contractor for the expenses actually incurred by him execution of a service agreement. But this does not mean that you must reimburse any amount that the contractor calls, the amount must be justified by documents and proved, otherwise if the contractor has nothing to present to you, then you should not reimburse him, maybe he did not start providing services.

If you have made an advance payment, then in the event of termination, you must return the money minus the reasonable expenses incurred by the contractor as part of the execution of the service contract.

If you have been provided with low-quality service, then you have the right to demand:

  1. Gratuitous elimination of identified deficiencies at the expense of the contractor,
  2. Reducing the price of the service provided (commensurate),
  3. Compensation payments for self-rectification of deficiencies.

Moreover, if you refuse to comply with your legal requirements, you also first file a complaint, and if the claims have not been fulfilled, then we turn to the court.

Return good quality merchandise

In this case, article 25 of the “Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights”, which states that the consumer has the full right to exchange goods of good quality if he does not fit the consumer in size, dimensions, shape, color, style, and configuration, will help us.

I draw your attention to the fact that you have the right to exchange, not return, that is, in such a situation with high-quality goods, the seller will first of all offer you to exchange goods for a similar one.

If the seller does not have a similar product at the time of presentation of your requirements, then in such a situation, the consumer has the full right to demand the termination of the purchase and sale agreement and the refund of the money paid for the goods in full, and the seller must fulfill this requirement within 3 days from the date of its presentation.

I strongly recommend that you send all your requirements to the seller in writing in 2 copies with the obligatory return of your copy to you with acceptance marks and then everything will be right and good with you.

But here everything is not so simple as it might seem, because in order to return goods of good quality, some special conditions must be met, in violation of which a return is not possible and these conditions are listed below:

  1. The product should not belong to the category of goods not subject to return and exchange and, accordingly, should not be included in the “list of non-food goods of good quality, not subject to return or exchange for similar goods of other sizes, shapes, dimensions, styles, colors or configurations” approved by the RF Government dated 19.01.1998 N 55. If the goods are included in this list, then it will not be possible to exchange and return them and they will be refused by law. Here the option is possible only if you agree with the seller,
  2. The product must retain its presentation and consumer properties. That is, the product should not have signs of use, it should not be in use and should look the same as in the window on the day of purchase,
  3. Labels and seals must be retained.
  4. No more than 15 days must have elapsed since the purchase
  5. The buyer should have with him a sales receipt or cash receipt, or another document confirming the fact of payment for the goods. If there is no such document, then the buyer can confirm the fact of the purchase by referring to the testimony of witnesses.

If at least one of the conditions is not met, the seller will refuse to return.

Where to complain about violation of consumer rights?

There is Rospotrebnadzor, which is a supervisory organization involved in prosecuting for violation of consumer rights. You can file a complaint with Rospotrebnadzor and, based on your complaint, there will be an on-site inspection within 30 days from the time of its filing, during which violations will be identified and checks will also be carried out as part of your complaint, as a result, if a violation is found, the store or company providing low-quality services will be held administratively or criminally liable, and an order will be issued to eliminate the violations.

The complaint to Rospotrebnadzor is filed in 2 copies, in free form, the most important thing is that when you file a complaint, your copy should include the incoming number and the acceptance mark, the date and transmit the copy with the marks to you.

In the complaint we write the essence of the problem with links to violated articles of the law, everything in the case and nothing more, indicate where and when you bought the goods or ordered services and what is the essence of the problem. Be sure to indicate to whom and from whom, also indicate your address and contact phone number.

From the moment you file your claim, you must be legally provided with an answer within 30 days from the date you filed the claim.

You can also write a complaint to the prosecutor’s office if the exchange is related to money, because there are organizations involved in almost criminal activity, it’s almost fraud, as it were under the law, and you can file a complaint against such organizations with the prosecutor’s office and it is submitted in the same way as in Rosprotrebnadzor and the term The answer to it is exactly the same.

In any case, you do not have to give up if the situation is not simple and you will certainly achieve justice.

Ask our lawyer a question, he will advise you, answer the most difficult questions and will certainly help solve your problem, because the help of a qualified specialist has not bothered anyone, so do not be shy and ask questions.

Legal relationships. Subjects of legal relations

The rules for protecting the interests of the Russian buyer are clearly spelled out in the Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights No. 2300-1 of 02/07/1992 (abbreviated as RFP). It regulates the legal relations of the parties arising from the sale of products and services. It is worth noting immediately that not all cases of sale are subject to this law. The fact is that the seller (contractor or manufacturer) under this regulatory act is exclusively a legal entity or individual entrepreneur (Preamble of the law). Therefore, if a person, for example, buys goods on AVITO from the same citizen as he, from a friend or from a neighbor, then consumer-seller relations will not arise here. All claims of the parties to each other will be governed by the norms of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, the consumer is always exclusively an individual buying a product or service for domestic needs and personal use. If it acquires products for doing business, or the legal entity becomes a buyer, then such legal relations will also be regulated by the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. These nuances should always be remembered before going to court and demanding a fine from the seller under the rules of the RFP.

A brief algorithm for protecting the interests of ordinary consumers

Everything is quite simple here. Выявив брак (или поняв, что изделие не подходит по каким-то критериям) покупатель должен обратиться в фирму (или к ИП), продавшему продукт или оказавшему услугу. В зависимости от ситуации он может потребовать поменять товар, устранить недостатки, вернуть деньги и так далее. Крупные компании, как правило, идут навстречу покупателю даже после устной просьбы. In addition, many organizations (especially at the federal level) have websites that enable them to exchange goods, refuse them, or put forward their requirements online.

If the product is defective, the law gives the seller fifteen days (in respect of a complex product) to fulfill the requirements of the consumer. And when a product does not suit a person according to any criteria (weight, size, color, and so on), the seller must settle the dispute in fourteen days. Unless, of course, the purchase is not a quality product that cannot be exchanged. We will talk about this in more detail below.

If the organization refuses to exchange goods or return the money, it is necessary to write a claim and hand it to the representative of the store (company) against signature or send it by registered mail to the company's address. After the seller receives the claim, the deadline that the law gives to satisfy the buyer's requirements begins. Claim is written in free form. It should contain the details of the seller, customer data, a statement of the situation, as well as the buyer's requirements for the seller. The claim is signed by the consumer or his representative. Copies of documents confirming the legitimacy of the requirements are attached to it.

If you do not receive an answer within the prescribed period of time or in the case when the seller does not want to satisfy the requirements, you should contact the court. To do this, write a statement of claim. In it, the buyer (or his representative) describes the situation, the essence of their requirements, provides evidence and justifies the position. Copies of documents are attached to the application: agreement, checks, product instruction manuals, copy of the claim, and so on. The state duty for such cases is not paid (Article 17 of the RFP).

The buyer can file a lawsuit in court at the seller's address or at his place of residence. The law provides such an opportunity. It must be remembered that if the amount of claims (excluding possible fines and compensation for harm) is less than 50,000 rubles, then such a case is considered by a justice of the peace. And if the cost of the purchase (or the services provided) exceeds this amount, then the case should be considered by a court of general jurisdiction.

Judicial sanctions for violation of consumer rights

They are quite serious. If the court establishes the legitimacy of the applicant’s claims, he will recover from the seller-offender the entire cost of the goods (services), a fine (50% of the price of the product), a penalty, compensation for non-pecuniary damage, as well as all costs incurred by the consumer in the process of protecting his rights . Of course, judges almost always reduce the claims. For example, they reduce the penalty and the amount of the claimed moral damage. But in the end, the amount is still impressive. Therefore, in recent years, sellers try not to bring the case to court and satisfy the buyer's claims before the first meeting.

Now let's turn to practice and consider the most typical cases of consumer protection.

Replacement of a defective product or refund for it

Section 18 of the Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights provides a person with sufficient opportunities to defend his interests in the event of the acquisition of defective goods. If the purchase is of poor quality, then the subject may demand to replace the goods, reduce the price, demand to correct the deficiencies or pay the costs of their elimination, or, in general, terminate the agreement and return the money. And if the store or individual entrepreneur does not fulfill the consumer’s conditions, then the court, if there is reason, will always charge the buyer for the money paid for the goods, 50% of the fine on its price, the penalty and the amount for moral compensation. (Decision of the Novosibirsk District Court of the Novosibirsk Region in case No. 2-1674 / 2014 of 06.24.2014).

Exchange of a quality product that does not fit the buyer according to certain criteria

Sometimes, a person, having bought a product, only after a while understands that he does not like it in color, size or shape. And the quality of the product, at the same time, does not cause any complaints. What to do in this case? The answer to the question is given by Art. 25 ZPP. She permits to change such a product within fourteen days, not counting the date of purchase. The actions of the buyer, in this case, are quite standard. He (or his representative) comes to the seller (calls him home if the goods are dimensional) and changes the purchase.

If the seller evades the exchange, the subject must write him a claim and demand other similar goods. If such a product with the necessary characteristics is not on sale, then a citizen may demand a refund. For example, a resident of Ryazan bought expensive kitchenware. Already at home, she realized that shopping did not suit her. Then the consumer turned to the store with a request to exchange goods for others more suitable for her. However, the seller ignored the claim. After that, the buyer went to court and won the trial. The judge ordered the plaintiff to return the products to the store and recovered from the latter in favor of the woman money in the amount of the purchase price, a fine, a fine under the RFP and compensation for non-pecuniary damage. (Decision of the Sovetsky District Court of Ryazan in case No. 2-697 / 2017 of 11/27/2017).

Thus, in such cases, the law always stands on the side of the buyer. However, it should be remembered that the exchange is made only when the goods were not in use and the buyer retained their presentation and can also present payment documents. However, even if the checks were lost, a person can refer to the testimony of witnesses.

Recommendation:Having bought and brought home the goods, carefully release them from the packaging. Carefully inspect the purchase for external damage. Do not tear seals and labels immediately. First of all, decide whether it is suitable for you or not? And if it does not, then immediately begin the exchange procedure. And, most importantly, be sure to keep all purchase receipts.

When a court refuses a buyer or a used product

The court has the right to refuse to refund the applicant if it finds out that the product was in use, and the subject did not want to exchange it for a similar product.

For example, a resident of the Moscow Region purchased a pram. Already at home, she realized that the stroller is too small for the child. The woman turned to the store and demanded that her money be returned. However, the seller refused this. Then the buyer filed a lawsuit and demanded to terminate the contract, return the money and recover from the seller a fine with a forfeit. Having examined the materials, the court dismissed her claim. In making the decision, the judge explained that the consumer first used the stroller to walk with the child, and only then complained to the store. And you can’t do this, because the product has already been in use. In addition, the stroller is quality the product and the woman did not have the right to immediately demand a refund, since the store had many similar goods. However, the buyer refused the exchange and immediately demanded money. “Therefore,” the judge concluded, “the plaintiff had no intention whatsoever of exchanging this product.” As a result, the court did not satisfy the lawsuit. (Decision of the Magistrate of the judicial section No. 256 of the Taldomsky District of the Moscow Region in the case No. 2-114 / 2015 of 04/20/2015).

Recommendation: If you bought a quality product, and it does not suit you, then do not use it for its intended purpose. In addition, do not immediately request a refund if the seller has a similar product with the characteristics you need. Just exchange the item. If you do not comply with these rules, the court will refuse you a lawsuit.

Items that cannot be exchanged or returned

Some quality products cannot be exchanged or returned at all. They are indicated in the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 55 of 01/19/1998. These are furniture, jewelry, cosmetics, medicines, sophisticated appliances and so on. Having bought such quality products, a person will not be able to return it to the seller under the pretext that it does not suit him. And the court here will side with the seller. Having established that the purchase is of high quality and is on the list drawn up by the Government of the Russian Federation, the judge will refuse the buyer and will not satisfy his application. (Decision of the Magistrate of the 3rd judicial section of the Novosibirsk judicial district of the Novosibirsk Region in case No. 2-28 / 16-3 of 04/05/2016).

Recommendation: Before you demand to replace a quality product or return a money, make sure that it is not included in the list of non-exchangeable goods. Otherwise, you’ll just waste your nerves and time.

The buyer cannot exchange the goods or return the money if the main device for connecting or repairing which the goods were purchased is not certified in the Russian Federation

Very interesting situation. In recent years, it has been found more and more. Many Russians began to order equipment, appliances, furniture and various materials from foreign online stores. Such a product is much cheaper. However, at the same time, many devices and things are not certified in Russia, and some, in general, cannot be used on the territory of our country.

So, a resident of Kamchatka bought a TV in Japan and brought it to Russia. Already in our country, he bought a TV tuner for him. The seller of the tuner told the buyer that this device is suitable for all brands of TVs. However, when he arrived home, the buyer found that the tuner cable connector did not fit the TV. The buyer demanded a refund, but the store refused categorically. Then the citizen went to court.

The judge, having read the documents, supported the seller. He pointed out that the buyer's TV was not certified in the Russian Federation and did not have a complete set of wires. But the tuner is a quality product and complies with GOST. As a result, the plaintiff lost the process. (Decision of the Justice of the Peace of the judicial section No. 10 of the Kamchatka Territory of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the case No. 2-653 / 16 of 03.02.2016).

Recommendation: When buying goods in a foreign store, make sure that it is certified in Russia. Otherwise, you will purchase a product that you cannot operate or repair in our country. And spare parts or devices purchased for it in the Russian Federation will not function. The law, in this situation, will side with the seller.

So, the law provides people with sufficiently broad rights to protect their rights. However, this does not mean that any desire of the buyer will be satisfied by the seller or the court. It all depends on the specific situation, the properties of the product, the essence of the claims and so on. And only a competent lawyer or a specialist of Rospotrebnadzor can deal with all the nuances. Therefore, we strongly recommend that citizens who are not familiar with the specifics of such cases do not try to solve the problem themselves, but seek legal assistance from a competent lawyer or lawyer. The latter will analyze the situation and help to defend your rights, both in pre-trial procedure and in court.