Rights when buying items and services

Last updated: 3 7 2019

Sweden has laws that protect you when you buy items and services. These laws give you the right, for example, to make a complaint about a purchase and in some cases to change your mind.

Receipts

You are entitled to be given a receipt when you buy something in a shop. If you shop online you are entitled to be sent a confirmation of your order. Remember that it is a good idea to keep this proof of what you bought and how much you paid.

A receipt must include information about the date, price, article number, and how many items you bought. It must also include the name, corporate identity (or VAT number) and address of the company you bought from.

Complaints

If there is anything wrong with the item or service you bought, you are entitled to make a complaint about it. The seller must then be given the opportunity to repair the defective item. Often you will instead be given a new item to replace the defective one. When you buy a service that is not as advertised, the seller must correct it so that it is as advertised.

You are entitled to make a complaint regardless of whether you have a right to exchange what you have bought. You are also entitled to complain about discounted items if they are faulty. In Sweden consumers have the right to complain within three years of the purchase.

Contact the seller and describe what is wrong with the item or service as soon as possible after your purchase. Two months after discovering the fault is considered an acceptable period of time within which to make a complaint.

  • Always keep the receipt when you buy something. That makes it easier to return the item if you should want to.
  • Make your complaint in writing, e g via email.

Keep a copy of your complaint, so that you can prove that you have made a complaint to the seller, and when.

Option to return

Buying with an option to return the item means that you get your money back if you no longer want the item you bought and you return it within a certain period of time.

There is no law that guarantees you the right to buy with an option to return the item. Offering the option to return an item is voluntary, so shops decide for themselves what terms to apply. This means that some shops offer a 30-day period in which you have the option to return an item, while others don't offer it at all.

  • Always ask in the shop what terms apply.
  • Check your receipt to make sure it says for how long you have the option to return the item.
  • Keep the receipt and make sure you return the item before the specified period for returning it has passed.

Right to exchange

The right to exchange means that you can return an item you bought and choose another one instead. It does not mean that you get your money back.

There is no law that guarantees you the right to exchange an item you bought. Offering the right to exchange an item is voluntary, so shops decide for themselves what terms to apply.

  • Always ask in the shop what terms apply.
  • Check your receipt to make sure it says for how long you have the right to exchange the item.
  • Keep the receipt and make sure you exchange the item before the specified period for exchanging it has passed.
  • Make sure the item you want to exchange is in the same condition it was when you bought it.

Cancellation right

When you buy something in a shop you are not entitled to cancel the purchase. However, you are entitled to cancel the purchase and get your money back when you buy something online, from a telemarketer, or via mail order – which are all known as "distance sales". You are also entitled to cancel your purchase if you enter into an agreement with the seller outside his/her business premises.

  • You have a 14-day cancellation period when you buy something via distance sales or outside the seller's business premises.
  • The cancellation period begins the day after you receive the item. If you are buying a service, the cancellation period begins the day after you entered into the agreement. The cancellation period is the time within which you have the right to cancel the purchase. In the case of telemarketing, an agreement is only considered entered into after you have confirmed it in writing. The requirement for a written confirmation includes hard (on paper) as well as soft (in an email or text message) forms.
  • The seller must inform you about how to cancel the purchase before you enter into an agreement. If the seller has not given you enough information, the cancellation period is extended.
  • The right to cancel does not apply to all types of purchases. It does not apply, for example, when you buy a travel ticket or a specially manufactured product. The seller must inform you that the right to cancel does not apply to the these purchases.
  • Make sure you cancel in writing, e g via email. Keep a copy as proof.
  • You have to return the item to the seller within 14 days of having notified them that you want to cancel. You have to pay the shipping cost of returning the item if the seller informed you of this before you entered into the agreement. Keep the receipt showing that you have sent the item back to the seller, so that you can show the seller you have.