(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 10, 2007, newly adopted amendments to the Russian Consumer Protection Law entered into force. The Law includes provisions aimed at introducing the right of a consumer to return an item of inferior quality to the seller and obtain a full refund. The right to almost unlimited return is expanded to large and expensive purchases, including cars, computers, and other home electronics. The Law states that if a buyer is dissatisfied with his purchase, he can return it within a 15-day period and receive a full refund or exchange. Previously this was possible only if the purchased item had "significant failures." Merchants, especially car dealers, are afraid of possible "consumer blackmailing," however. A full refund can be requested in other cases as well, such as if the repair work under a warranty takes longer than 45 days, or if an item is under repair more than 30 days during each year of a warranty coverage period.
The Law introduces a penalty for violation of a delivery date determined by contract, set at 0.5 percent of the prepayment amount. In addition, the Law obligates the issuer of a loan to inform the borrower of the full amount that will be paid to pay off the loan. (Novyi Zakon Pugaet Avtodilerov [Car Dealers Are Afraid of a New Law] (in Russian), NEWSRU.COM, Dec. 10, 2007.)