New consumer laws take effect today

The rules mandate warranties and service for all appliances, electrical and gas products.

After years of debate, lobbying on the Knesset Economics Committee by special interests, and many postponements, new consumer protection regulations come into effect today. The regulations mandate warranties and services for all appliances, electrical products and gas products, and furniture with mechanical and/or electrical parts costing more than NIS 150.

The new regulations are a consumer revolution in Israel, since they precisely define companies obligations towards consumers relating to services. The regulations main points are as follows:

  • Warranties must be provided for all products listed in the regulations, and buyers must be allowed to read them before a purchase.
  • The seller must provide warranties for any product costing over NIS 400 in cases where the manufacturer or importer has disappeared or gone bankrupt. This means that consumers can demand that the retailer repair products they sold if the importer cannot be located.
  • Any fault or breakdown occurring within a year of the date of purchase must be repaired, including new spare parts at no cost to the consumer. This voids the small print found in warranties that exclude repairs to products, caused by factors such as rust, or the replacement of perishable parts, such as the rubber sealing rings of refrigerators.
  • Spare parts must be provided for a second year for any product costing more than NIS 300, and for seven years for large products included in the regulations list. Consumers will pay for the parts during these period.
  • Repairs must be completed within ten days at service centers or two weeks at the retailer. This means that consumers will not have to wait for weeks for replacement parts or for a technician to return from his or her vacation. The regulations stipulate the repair times.
  • Large or heavy items must be repaired at the customers residence within ten days, including transport to a repair center if necessary at the expense of the warrantor.
  • Essential items listed in the regulations must be repaired within 1-3 days. These items include refrigerators, freezers, central air conditioners, and washing machines. Waiting times for a technicians visit is limited to two hours, and a technicians failure to arrive twice constitutes a breach of the regulations.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on September 17, 2006

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2006

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