Significant changes in consumer rights

2023 will start with a bang – at least when it comes to consumer protection. 1 January 2023 will be the effective date for two legal acts extending consumer rights and imposing new duties on entrepreneurs engaged in B2C sales. The first of the acts, concerning sales of goods and digital content, has already been published (Journal of Laws of 2022 Item 2337). The other one, implementing the Omnibus Directive, is still awaiting President’s signature. However, due to a short vacatio legis period, it is necessary to take adaptation measures already now.

The work on extension of consumer rights and additional obligations for entrepreneurs had been underway for over a dozen months, but recently the efforts clearly accelerated, which led to adoption of two new acts governing entrepreneur-consumer relations by the Parliament.

Both of them implement a considerable number of small changes that will make consumers’ lives easier. The following are of particular significance:

  • New rules for informing about promotions on the Internet and elsewhere;
  • Mandatory verification of opinions posted on entrepreneurs’ websites;
  • Changes to the information to be posted by entrepreneurs on their website;
  • A new approach to warranty.

Informing about promotions

According to the changed legislation, entrepreneurs who want to inform about a promotional price reduction, in addition to the new price, need to inform about the lowest price offered over the last 30 days. If a product is new on offer and has been offered for fewer than 30 days, the lowest price from the moment of its initial offer needs to be indicated. The above rules apply to promoting both goods and services. The purpose of this regulation is to limit the possibility of price manipulation, in particular during events such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Verification of consumer opinions

Verifying whether consumers’ opinions are reliable is a new obligation for entrepreneurs who offer access to opinions on products issued by consumers. In this situation, entrepreneurs must adopt procedures and processes to ensure that opinions posted on their websites have actually been expressed by consumers who bought a product. Moreover, it is necessary to inform about the manner of verifying reliability of opinions and the rules for publishing them.

Importantly, a failure to comply with this obligation may be viewed as an unfair market practice. It should be emphasized that the verification of consumer opinions is to focus on whether they were issued by actual buyers of products or services rather than on their objectivity.

Information posted on entrepreneurs’ websites

Another new obligation consists of providing access to a contact phone number to be used by consumers (e.g. to the Customer Service Department, Support Department or Sales Department). The contact phone number should be posted on entrepreneurs’ websites. Importantly, the phone number is to enable consumers a fast and effective contact with the entrepreneur.

Thus, the amendment implements an unequivocal duty to maintain a phone number at which consumers can contact the entrepreneur. This way of contacting entrepreneurs will be mandatory and it may not be replaced with a live chat or an email address.

A new approach to warranty for defects

An important change consists of extension of the presumption that goods issued to a consumer were defective at the moment of their issuance from one to two years. This means that it is always the entrepreneur that needs to prove the absence of non-compliance of the goods with the contract.

It should also be emphasized that, according to the amended regulations, entrepreneurs will be obliged to respond to consumers’ complaints within 14 days of their receipt. Exceptions to this rule are provided for in separate regulations. The radical reduction of the response time will require not only changes to Terms & Conditions but also to internal processes within organisations, so that they can comply with the deadline.

Other changes

The other changes implemented by the amended legislation include, without limitation, introduction of a definition of digital content and services, and providing for protection adequate for consumers also if the equivalent of the entrepreneur’s remuneration takes the form of disclosure of the consumer’s personal data, e.g. in case of popular promotional campaigns such as “an e-book in return for signing up for newsletters”.

The amendment also provides that penalties for a failure to comply with the amended regulations will be imposed by the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) at up to 10% of entrepreneurs’ last-year turnover. A breach of certain obligations may also be penalized by the State Trading Standards Inspection.

To sum up, the aforesaid changes entail a number of new duties for entrepreneurs. As the range of the duties is quite broad, entrepreneurs should consider undertaking certain measures to adapt their operations in this respect in the near future.

If you are interested in the above issues, you are welcome to contact us.


Piotr Krupa Partner, Katowice

T: +48 32 731 68 52
M: +48 502 109 333

Kamil Kozioł Manager, Katowice

T: +48 32 731 68 50

Mateusz Hehnel Associate, Katowice

T: +48 32 731 68 65