Video Games, Music, Vod: The Legal Guarantee Of Conformity Is Extended To Digital Content
Good news for all subscribers to a video-on-demand platform or an online music or video game service! Since January 1st 2022, the legal guarantee of conformity has been extended to digital content and services. Explanations.
What does this guarantee consist of?
According to the Consumer Code, merchants are required to guarantee consumers against defects in the conformity of the goods they sell them.
The legal guarantee of conformity applies in the following cases:
- the product sold does not conform to the use usually expected of a similar good
- the product does not correspond to the description given by the seller
- the product does not have the qualities announced by the seller.
In summary, this warranty works in case of failure or malfunction, but also in case of disappointing performance or characteristics compared to the description given by the seller.
What changes in 2022?
Until now, this warranty only applied to physical goods purchased new or used, such as an object, car or appliance.
But, due to our changing consumer habits, it had become necessary to modernize the regulation in order to better protect consumers.
Therefore, from January 1, 2022, this legal guarantee of conformity is extended to digital content and services, according to the ordinance published in the Official Gazette on September 30, 2021.
This ordinance transposes two European directives of May 20, 2019.
Which products are concerned?
From now on, the legal guarantee of conformity applies to digital products such as :
- the purchase of an online video game
- the purchase of a mobile application
- the purchase or rental of a film on VOD
- the subscription to a digital channel or radio.
To note: this legal guarantee does not apply to games of money and chance, nor to financial services and administrative documents.
In addition, this guarantee also applies to consumers' contractual relations with social network operators.
In addition, new specific rights apply to software that is essential to the proper functioning of certain connected products, such as a smartphone, a connected watch or a connected household appliance.
Now, consumers have the option to refuse software updates that go beyond what is necessary to ensure the conformity of the good.
In addition, the seller must inform the consumer about the duration of the manufacturer's commitment to provide updates.
To be noted: from January 1, 2022, the legal guarantee of conformity also evolves for second-hand physical products. The period of presumption of anteriority of defects increases from 6 months to 1 year. This means that you benefit from this guarantee on a second-hand good for 1 year, without having to prove that the defect was present on the day of the sale.
How do I make use of this legal guarantee?
With the extension of the legal guarantee of conformity to digital content and services, you can now invoke this guarantee in case of lack of conformity of a digital good, as for other goods.
In practice, you can request, within 2 years of purchase, the repair or replacement of the product if it is a smartphone, a tablet or a home automation device.
The seller is required to make such repair or replacement without cost or substantial inconvenience to you and within a reasonable period of time not exceeding 30 days.
Failing that, you may request a reduction in price or a refund of the price paid in exchange for the return of the good.
For digital content and services, this legal guarantee operates:
- within the 2 years following the provision of digital content (downloading a file or purchasing a movie on a platform)
- during the duration of the subscription, even if it exceeds 2 years, in the case of a continuous service such as a subscription to a radio or a digital channel in streaming.
The defective content or service must be brought into conformity free of charge within 30 days.
If not, you can obtain a rebate or terminate your contract.