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French shops mis-sold guarantees for faulty goods: Orange, Darty, SFR

Shops are obliged to fix or replace faulty items free of charge within two years, under certain conditions, but many sold guarantees instead withough informing people of legal rights

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Darty did not inform some customers of their free legal rights Pic: ricochet64/Shutterstock

Some shops, including big brands, are still failing to inform customers that their purchases are covered by a legal guarantee, a study by the official consumer standards enforcer has found.

A two-year garantie légale de conformité has existed since 2014 and was extended this year to digital goods, such as computer games and subscriptions to online services.

It obliges shops to fix or replace items including electrical goods, motorised garden equipment, toys, game consoles, sports equipment, watches, lights, sunglasses and furniture if they do not work properly during two years after purchase.

Read more: The good, the bad and the ugly of customer service in France

Shops should also inform customers of this right and mention it on receipts (these rules do not apply to online sales). 

However, checks by anti-fraud and consumer protection body DGCCRF in 2019 and 2020 resulted in 400 formal warnings, 370 formal instructions and 70 fines against businesses.

Even big brands did not inform customers

Among those sanctioned were Orange, Darty, SFR and Boulanger, which were found to be selling separate paid-for commercial guarantees without properly informing customers of their free legal rights.


Note, however, that shops’ own guarantees might offer additional cover, compared to the legal one. For example, the latter relates only to issues linked to a fault existing at the time of purchase. 

DGCCRF has information on the guarantee and has a web platform,, where people can register complaints.

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