Newsletter Regarding Changes To The Regulation On After Sales Services
Within the scope of the Regulation on the Amendment of the Regulation on After Sales Services published in the Official Gazette dated 12.02.2020 and numbered 31037 (“Amendment Regulation”), a number of amendments have been made in the Regulation on After Sales Services (“Regulation”) which is issued based on the Law on Consumer Protection and which governs the after-sales services that manufacturers and importers are required to provide for certain goods. The amendments will enter into force on 01.07.2020.
The said amendments and our evaluations relating to the amendments are indicated below.
A. Amendments made in the Regulation
- Article 7 of the Regulation has been amended as follows:
Validity period of certificate of competency for after sales services and other procedures
ARTICLE 7 – (1) The validity period of certificate of competency for after sales services is two years. The certificate must be renewed before its validity expires.
A new-application shall be made for expired certificates.
(2) The information and documents to be requested during applications for certificate of competency for after sales services such as title, address, service station, scope change and etc. shall be separately determined by the General Directorate and announced on the website of the Ministry.
(3) If there is a change in the services that are declared during the application for certificate of competency for after sales services, this change must be reported to the Ministry in thirty days. The changes regarding authorized service stations must be reported to the Ministry in fifteen days by the manufacturer or importer.
We are of the opinion that the amendment made in the first paragraph of this article will not make any difference in actuality, as it is already the usual practice to make this application before the validity period of certificate of competency for after sales services expires. Therefore, we think that the aim of the amendment is to correct the expression.
On the other hand, with the amendment made in the third paragraph, the period regarding the notification to be made to Trade Ministry regarding the changes of authorized services has been shortened.
- Article 9 of the Regulation has been amended as follows:
Features and number of authorized service stations
ARTICLE 9 – (1) Authorized service stations that are established in specified number in the attached list and that are notified to the Ministry should have the features specified in the regulations or standards determined by the Ministry or Turkish Standards Institute, another institution or organization to be appointed depending on the subject of service.
(2) The number of authorized service stations that are identified and announced in the list included in the attachment of this Regulation by considering the features of the property, purpose of use and location and the amount of sales of the produced or imported goods, shall be determined or changed by the General Directorate if necessary, by obtaining the opinions of relevant institutions and organizations.
(3) Information and documents to be requested during the applications regarding the establishment of authorized service stations shall be determined separately by the General Directorate and announced on the Ministry’s website.
(4) Inspection of the authorized service stations shall be carried out by the personnel to be assigned by the General Directorate or the relevant Provincial Directorate or by the institutions or organizations authorized by the Ministry. For the authorized service stations that are found competent, a document showing the conformity with the provisions of this Regulation shall be issued.
(5) The works and operations carried out at authorized service stations, which are established more than the number specified in the attached list and are not compulsory to be notified to the Ministry, must also comply with the provisions of the Regulation.
In our opinion, one of the important changes made in this article is that one of the criteria taken into account for evaluation of the standards that the authorized service stations should bear, has been specified as the standards set by the Turkish Standards Institute in relation to the subject of service.
- Article 10 of the Regulation has been amended as follows:
Liabilities of the service stations
ARTICLE 10 – (1) In the absence of an authorized service station at the location where the consumer is located, the authorized service station in the nearest location to the consumer is responsible for providing after-sales services.
(2) Except for uses in contradiction with the introduction and user manual,
in case it is not possible to provide after-sales service at the authorized service station closest to the consumer; regarding the transportation and return of the goods to the company headquarters or to another authorized service station authorized service stations may not charge the consumer any fees transportation expense such as transportation, postal, cargo or transportation expenses of the service personnel and so forth.
(3) Service stations are obliged to issue documents containing the points specified in Article 11 of this Regulation and give copies of them to consumers.
(4) Throughout the economic life of the goods, the maintenance and repair period of the goods at the authorized service stations cannot exceed the maximum repair period. This period starts on the date of notification of the malfunction related to the goods to the authorized service station or the seller during the warranty period, and if the warranty period has expired, it starts from the delivery date of the goods to the authorized service station. The consumer can report the malfunction via phone, fax, e-mail, registered and reply paid letter, etc. In case of a dispute, the burden of proof regarding the notification belongs to the consumer. If a telephone line is allocated by the manufacturer or importer so that consumers can contact with them regarding after-sales services, the manufacturer or importer cannot select a higher tariff for this line than the usual fee rate.
(5) The date of completion of the repair of the goods is notified to the consumer by phone, text message, fax, e-mail, registered and reply paid mail, etc. In case of conflict, the burden of proof regarding the notification belongs to the authorized service station.
(6) Regarding the installation, maintenance and repair service provided by the service stations after the warranty period of the goods has expired, the consumer cannot be charged under any name in case recurrence of the same malfunction within a year. Malfunctions arising from use of the good by the consumer in contradiction with the user manual are outside the scope of this paragraph.
(7) In the event that a part of the good that is not mandatory to be sold with a warranty certificate is replaced or sold by the service station outside of the warranty period, a warranty period of not less than six months shall be provided for the replacement or sold part.
We think that the regulation made in the second paragraph of this article contains the most important change brought by the Amendment Regulation, because the result of the opposite meaning of this amendment is that in respect of the services that arise from the consumer’s use of the goods in contradiction with the introduction and user manual, the authorized service may charge the consumer certain amounts such as transportation, postal, cargo, transportation expenses of the service personnel.
- Article 11 of the Regulation has been amended as follows:
Documents to be issued by the service stations
ARTICLE 11 – (1) The service stations are obliged to issue a document including the following information regarding the receipt of the goods in relation to the malfunctioned goods delivered to them or received by them, except for the malfunctioned goods sent to them by cargo:
a) Name, surname and signature of the person who delivered the goods,
b) Name, surname and signature of the person who received the goods,
c) Consumer’s complaints and requests with respect of the good,
ç) Type, brand and model of the good,
d) Information which states that in case the malfunction of the goods covered by the warranty is not resolved within ten working days, then the consumer will be provided with another good with similar features that can be used by the consumer until the repair of the good is completed,
e) Date of delivery of the good or date of the notification regarding the fault.
(2) Service stations are obliged to establish the service voucher with the following information with respect to the goods delivered to the consumers and deliver the voucher to the consumers:
a) Title, address, phone, fax and other access information of the service station,
b) Delivery date of the good to the consumer,
c) Information regarding the malfunction of the goods and the operations made,
ç) Fee (in case the operation is out of scope of the warranty),
d) Signature of the service station’s officer,
e) Points stated in the Article 10 of this Regulation, which indicate the responsibilities of service stations,
f) The name, surname, address, telephone and signature of the consumer, except for the goods received by cargo.
(3) The information stated in the sub-paragraph (d) of the first paragraph of this article is not required to be included in the documents issued by private services.
(4) In case the matters which shall be included in the reports that shall be issued in accordance with the sub-paragraph (c) of the first paragraph of the Article 9 and the second paragraph of the Article 11 of the Warranty Certificate Regulation published in the Official Gazette dated 13/6/2014 and numbered 29029 have been stated in the service voucher, then a separate report is not required to be issued.
(5) In case the repair is made at the place where the good is used, it is not obligatory to issue the document stated in the first paragraph of this article.
Pursuant to the paragraph which has been added to this article, in case the repair service related to the goods is being provided at the place where the goods are used, it will not be obligatory to issue the delivery voucher regarding receipt of the malfunctioned goods.
- Article 14 of the Regulation has been amended as follows:
Liability of the manufacturer, importer and seller
ARTICLE 14 – (1) The manufacturers or importers are severally responsible for the provision and execution of after sales services, together with the authorized service stations, even if the authorized service stations are a separate legal entity.
(2) After sales services can also be provided where the goods are used depending on their nature.
(3) Except for uses in contradiction with the introduction and user manual,
Manufacturers or importers that do not have service in every geographic region, although they have installed the number of authorized service stations specified in the list attached to this Regulation manufacturers, importers or sellers cannot charge any additional fees to consumers such as transportation, postal, cargo or service personnel transportation costs during the warranty period of the goods. Regarding the maintenance and repair of the goods during the life of the goods, until the number of service stations reaches at least 1, 7 in total, in each geographic region.
(4) In case the malfunction cannot be remedied within ten business days from the delivery of the goods to the authorized service station or seller within the warranty period, the manufacturer or importer must allocate another good with similar features to the use of the consumer until the repair of the good is completed. Manufacturers or importers shall be released of this liability, if another good with similar features is not requested by the consumer. The burden of proof related to this belongs to the manufacturer or importer.
(5) In case the importer’s commercial activity ends in any manner, the seller, the manufacturer and the new importer are severally responsible for the provision of maintenance and repair services related to the goods during the warranty period. After the end of the warranty period, it is obligatory for the manufacturer or the new importer to provide maintenance and repair services during the economic life of the goods.
(6) Manufacturers or importers are obliged to ensure that after sales services are carried out in accordance with the relevant legislation provisions, to monitor and control the works of authorized service stations and to eliminate the deficiencies seen.
(7) In the event that the malfunctioned goods are delivered to the seller within the warranty period, the seller must issue a document stating that the goods have been received in relation to the delivered malfunctioned goods. In this document, the issues in the first paragraph of Article 11 of the Regulation are included.
(8) If the manufacturers or importers have a website, up-to-date contact information for all authorized service stations must be included on these websites.
(9) It is obligatory for manufacturers or importers to enter all authorized service station information, including the services established in a number more than the number specified in the attached list, to the website of the Service Information System created by the Ministry in a correct and complete manner within thirty days and to update this information, if there is a change occurs in service information.
The amendment made in the third paragraph of this article is parallel to the amendment made in the Article 10 of the Regulation and accordingly it will be possible for the manufacturer, importer and seller to request the expenses such as transportation, postal, cargo and service personnel transportation expenses from the consumer, even within the warranty period, in terms of the service services arising from the use of the good in contradiction with the manual for use and introduction.
The addition to the eighth clause of the article is also important because accordingly it is now mandatory for manufacturers and importers to specify the contact details of the authorized service stations on their websites.
The addition to the ninth paragraph of the article also includes a significant change, as an electronic system will be created by the Ministry of Commerce, where all the authorized service station information of the manufacturers / importers who supply the goods attached to the Regulation will be entered. We expect the system to be installed by this date, as the amendments will take effect on 01.07.2020.
- Provisional Article 14 of the Regulation has been amended as follows:
PROVISIONAL ARTICLE1 – (1) Certificates of competency for after sales services that are approved before the publication date of this article
Regulation are valid for two years from the date of approval.
(2) For the goods that are added to the attached list by the regulation containing this paragraph, for which the standartds have not been determined yet, it is obligatory to obtain a certificate of competency for after sales services within three months from the effective date of the relevant standard to be prepared by the Turkish Standards Institute.
It is understood from the addition made to the transitional provision, the Amendment Regulation added some new goods to the list attached to the Regulation. In this respect, the scope of goods for which after sales services are mandatory has been extended. New additions to the list include routers, baby surveillance cameras and parental monitors.
B. Our General Evaluation of the Amendments Introduced
One of the most important changes brought by the Amendment Regulation is that even in the warranty period, expenses such as transportation, postal, cargo or transportation personnel of the consumer can be requested from the consumer in terms of services arising from the use of the good in contradiction with the introduction and user manual. We believe that this is a significant amendment as it is not parallel with the consumer legislation that adopts principle of consumer protection approach in general.
Another important innovation is the establishment of an electronic system in which the information of authorized service stations must be added. Since all of the changes will take effect on 01.07.2020, we expect the Ministry of Commerce to establish the aforementioned system by this date and to issue secondary regulations regarding the registrations to be made in the system.