Warranties, repairs and customer complaints

A person repairs a smartphone.
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You just bought a new device, a washing machine, a smartphone or a coffeemaker, and a short time later it no longer works properly, if at all? That is annoying.

In Germany, there is generally a two-year Garantie (warranty or guarantee) for most purchased items. If the item is faulty, you have the right to have it repaired or replaced free of charge. But this only applies if you have used the item properly – not letting your Smartphone fall into water, for example. It's also important to keep the Rechnung (receipt) of purchase along with the guarantee.

You then go to the shop where you bought the item and reklamierst (issue a claim). That means you explain what the fault is. You can also do this in writing. The shop owner then normally sends the device to the manufacturer and explains to you what will happen next.

Sometimes there is also a Rückgabegarantie (money back guarantee), but this is not always the case. When you buy a device or machine, you can also sometimes purchase an extra guarantee which, for example, extends the period of free repair or replacement to five years.