Monday, November 26, 2012


There are a few perks about living in an EU country.  One of them is that consumer goods come with a mandatory two-year warranty period.  I don't mean an extended warranty.  I mean that the minimum coverage, by law, is a full two years.  Retailers and manufacturers can still offer extended warranties beyond the two year minimum.

In the USA, you almost always have to have the receipt in order to take something back to a store.  Depending on the store policy, you can either exchange the item for another one or you can get your money refunded.  Some stores don't even require a receipt.

My repair invoice with a stamp & initials
Over here, it is a bit different.  When you purchase a consumer good, the sales clerk will rubber stamp your receipt and then initial it.  Other places, like government offices, also do the stamp and initial thing.  The receipt isn't valid without the stamp and clerk's initials.

A few months ago I purchased a cover, with a wireless keyboard, for my iPad.  Suddenly, the Z, X, C and V keys stopped working.  So I grabbed my receipt and took it to the store where I purchased it.  All I wanted was a new one.  Here's how it works...

The retailer has 30 days to fix the defective item.  If, after 30 days, they can't fix it then they have to give you a new one or refund your money.  I was told that the retailer gets to determine if the product is faulty or not.  No problem for me because the keys didn't work for the clerk either.  So I was given a repair invoice, with another stamp and initials, and told that the store would send it out for service.  It really would have been easier, if they had just given me a new case on the spot but that's not how things work here.

The retailer/vendor must complete the repairs within 30 days but it is up to the consumer to check on the status.  Odd...but whatever.  After 30 days, I went back to the store with my invoice.  They still didn't have any word back from the service center but I had my invoice showing that it had been 30 days.  I was told that I could get my money back or use a credit towards something else.  The store ended up giving me the new, updated version of what I had originally purchased for the exact same amount.  I wasn't thrilled about not having a case for 30 days but now I'm happy again.


  1. Yes, it is stupid think with all the stamps and signatures. I still don't understand it. But the receipt is valid without it for warranty application. It might be not valid for accountancy though. 10 papers for one stupid thing. And also, why can't they just exchange piece for piece like they do in developed world? The good news is that some shops already do it, otherwise you would have to wait 30 days for every little thing that is obviously not repairable .

  2. In communist times they really repair most of things in 30 days.