Infromational Responsibilities of the Seller

According to Act No. 634/1992 Coll., on Consumer Protection, the vendor must duly inform the consumer about the characteristics of the products being sold or the nature of the services being provided. This is particularly important for those product characteristics, which are not immediately evident, but that may affect the use of the product. The vendor must inform the customer of the risks associated with the services being provided. In the case of a product, the vendor is also responsible for informing the consumer about how to use and maintain the product, as well as the possible dangers resulting from improper use or incorrect maintenance. If it is then necessary, due to the nature of the product as well as the method and duration of its use, the vendor is obliged to ensure that the information is contained in the enclosed operating instructions, that they are intelligible, and that these instructions are in Czech. The above-mentioned obligation to inform only concerns products where such information is significant for the customer. It does not apply in cases when such information is either obvious or generally known.

Often, vendors attempt to absolve themselves of these responsibilities by blaming the manufacturer, importer or supplier for not providing the required or correct information. This, however, does not excuse the vendor of his responsibility towards the consumer.

Specifically, the law stipulates what information the product must have. The vendor must, in accordance with Section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act, ensure that the products sold by him are visibly and clearly labelled with the required information. Specifically, products must have:

a) The name of the manufacturer, importer or supplier, and if the nature of the product or the way it is sold requires, the product must also be labelled, have the weight, quantity, size or dimension on the label, as well as any other information needed to use or indentify the product; and

b) Details of the materials from which the main parts are made (in the case of shoes) with the exception of those products that legally are not subject to such labelling.

In the case of textile product labelling the Consumer Protection Act once again refers to the directly applicable Directive of the European Parliament and Council: Regulation (EU) No.1007/2011.

The legislation also stipulates that if using the product entails the having knowledge of specific rules or procedures, the vendor is obliged to familiarize the consumer with them. The vendor is not responsible in the case of generally known rules.

Providing the above information may carry with it a number of difficulties that prevent the goods from being directly identified. In such a case, the vendor is required to identify the goods with the necessary information by other suitable means. If this is not possible or practical due to the nature of the product, then the vendor must, at the request of the consumer or the authority which controls compliance with this regulation, truthfully disclose, or substantiate the necessary information.

In addition, the vendor may not remove or change product labelling, or any other information provided by the manufacturer, importer or supplier. This also applies to the infamous taping over of data, such as the expiration date, etc.

Particular attention is paid to sale of used products in the legislation. When used items are sold (or modified products, products with a defect, or products whose use is somehow limited) the vendor must clearly and in advance warn the consumer of these facts. Such products must be sold separately from other products. At the retail location, in the area set aside for the sale of such items, products other than those intended for sale may not be stored.

Information about products and services must be provided in the Czech language. Some separate pieces of information may be provided in the form of symbols (pictograms), which must be clear, legible and complete. For products which use symbols (pictograms) as part of their labelling, the vendor is nonetheless responsible for explaining their meaning, or supply, as appropriate, information which explains them.

In Section 12, the law also refers to the placement of product pricing. Specifically the legislation stipulates that the vendor is required to provide a clearly visible price tag, in accordance with price regulations (and in the case of air services in accordance with the directly applicable European Community regulation) on the Price of Consumer Goods or Services, or otherwise provide accessibility to the price. Pricing information, or incomplete or missing pricing, cannot appear to signify that:

a) The price is lower than it in fact really is;

b) The price point depends on circumstances on which, in fact, it does not depend;

c) Price includes delivery, performance, work or services for which, in fact, the customer must pay separately;

d) The price has been, or will be increased, decreased, or will not be changed, if this is not the case; and

e) The relationship between the product or service’s price and value and that of a comparable product or service is not as advertised.

The informational obligations of the vendor also apply to product and service claims. The Vendor shall duly inform consumers about the scope, conditions and manner of exercise of the right arising from defective goods and/or services, along with information about where one can make a claim.

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