People who sell computers, installation and maintenance in the UK have two weeks to tell the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) before the consultation period for a fresh EU Directive expires.
Geoffrey Budd, company secretary of Dixons plc, said today that the entire industry has until 15 November to change the DTI?s mind on a warranty directive which will push the burden of proof on defective goods from buyers to sellers, if the UK Parliament does not object.
Budd said: ?The consultation closes on the 15 November but the Directive hasn?t moved. Nobody in the House of Commons has taken it up and the DTI is gathering people?s opinions. This is not just a Dixons issue, it concerns the whole industry.?
He said a standing committee of the House of Lords was watching the Directive and waiting for the results of the DTI consultancy. A DTI representative said: ?This is only a proposal out of Europe. We?ve issued a constulation document and we?ve asked people to respond.? She said the paper was issued on the 18 September with the consultation period over on the 15 November. It is a public document and people can call the Department for a copy.
The DTI is hosting a seminar on 5 November to alert interested parties to the problems. The representative said: 'We've invited people from consumer chains and consumer groups to give people the chance to discuss the implications.' If the Directive goes through on the nod, it means that people will be able to return goods, services and even installation up until the 31 December after buying them. A further clause in the Directive means an extension of this period for two years.
The Dixons Group plc is concerned because it will cost them many millions extra over a year. Budd, however, was keen to stress the Directive covered every warranty and not just white goods. Five weeks ago, he said that it applied to lawn mowers as much as white goods.
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