• NBCC's professional manager Jørgen Snoen meets legal counsel in the Consumer Council, Thomas Iversen, to discuss the Consumer Purchase Act
    NBCC's professional manager Jørgen Snoen meets legal counsel in the Consumer Council, Thomas Iversen, to discuss the Consumer Purchase Act
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By: Bjarne Eikefjord
Caravan and Caravan magazine, No. 1 February 2020

Purchase of camping vehicles: What rights and obligations apply?

"The road to a better camping experience" is one of the slogans of the Norwegian Motorhome and Caravan Club, NBCC. Few things are more devastating for good camping experiences than camping vehicles and other equipment failing to finish, break or otherwise fail to meet expectations. Jørgen Snoen is NBCC's professional manager, and over time he has seen how challenging it can be for customers when errors and deficiencies occur in camping vehicles.

The Consumer Purchase Act is intended to protect consumers against unscrupulous sellers. NBCC's mission is to safeguard the interests of its members. - "But not everyone is aware that the law points out that both sellers and buyers have responsibilities and obligations they must adhere to in a trading process that has literally derailed. In our work with consumer purchasing cases, we often see that both customers and sellers can be wrong in their assessments ”- says specialist Jørgen Snoen. - “Many customers claim that dealers use different shells to not comply with the Consumer Purchase Act. Dealers believe that buyers are invoking terms that are not regulated by law, "says Jørgen.

complaints Deadlines

What the law covers is stated in §§1-3. It is not allowed to enter into agreements that give customers worse conditions than the law stipulates. Nor can it be agreed that the legal rules of a state outside the EEA should be applied to a purchase agreement that is closely related to the territory of the EEA states, Lichtenstein, Iceland and Norway, if the consumer thereby receives less protection than under the law here, it is stipulated in §3, second paragraph. Norwegian buyers of motorhomes or caravans that had to be imported outside of authorized dealers, 2 years of right to claim, regardless of the time limit for complaints throughout the EU is 5 years. Under the Consumer Purchase Act 2, claims can be lodged against the first owner in Norway up to 35 years from the date of import. - "NBCC believes that Norwegian consumers should therefore purchase camping vehicles through Norwegian caravan dealers in order to ensure Norwegian claims conditions in the event of errors", - states Jørgen Snoen.

The legislation

Thomas Iversen, legal counsel for the Consumer Council, is an expert on the Consumer Purchase Act. What does the Consumer Purchase Act say about the liability of a motorhome that has a chassis manufacturer and another supplier of the housing? - "A motorhome consists of a living room and a car part, but the seller has the total responsibility for the entire vehicle towards the buyer. The relationship between the seller and the manufacturers is irrelevant to the customer. If claims are raised, the seller must initiate repairs, and must then discuss the costs with the manufacturers afterwards "-" Iversen states.

Duties and rights

The seller shall deliver the item, in this case the camping vehicle, in the condition and with the equipment described in the advertisement and contract. Oral agreements bind just as fully, but usually such ends in widely differing perceptions of what is actually agreed. - "Therefore always make sure you get the most out of the contract," - says Jørgen Snoen. The buyer must also follow service intervals, moisture tests and other maintenance as prescribed in the instructions for use. Violation of this may result in loss of rights. A source of disagreement here is the annual moisture test, which some retailers require should only be done at brand retailers. Iversen totally disagrees.

Competence and authorization

- “The legislation does not require the customer to visit the seller's workshop for service. The customer must be able to choose another workshop - provided that the workshop used has the expertise and authorization to perform, for example, moisture testing. The same applies to service on the housing and chassis. For a customer, it must be sufficient to seek out a workshop that has general, professional expertise in housing and / or chassis. If there is any doubt here, it must be possible to establish a causal link between any damage and incorrect maintenance or testing. In that case, the burden of proof rests with the person who claims that services have not been done properly ”- notes Thomas Iversen.

Information requirement

- "Camping vehicle sellers have a duty to provide information, and this goes ahead of buyers' research duty" - says Thomas Iversen, and continues: "Buyers must be able to trust the seller, but should still research the product thoroughly before buying. This means checking the condition, costs, service programs, total weight and that the weight limits for driver's licenses fit with the vehicle. Incorrect information from the seller here means a deficiency, cf. the Consumer Purchase Act section 16, points a, b, c and d. " it subsequently turned out not to be, it in itself provides a legal basis for raising the purchase.

Best in Europe

- "Norway has one of the best consumer purchasing laws in Europe" - says Thomas Iversen. It is fully permitted to contract better terms than the law stipulates, such as a 12-year moisture guarantee. But it is not allowed to agree on worse terms than the law sets. Iversen makes some clear requests: - "Check all information about the vehicle. Use your consumer power. Find the dealers and workshops that offer qualified service and follow-up at the lowest possible price. "-

NBCC's technical manager Jørgen Snoen fully agrees: - "NBCC is a nationwide interest organization for all camping enthusiasts, and as a member you can get guidance and legal advice should errors or omissions occur. Use us over social media in the dialogue with suppliers and workshops, which usually results in far better results. "-

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