the state tightens the screw and drives out misleading terms

If the term “reconditioned” seemed abstract and obscure to you, it is because there was not yet a legal definition; this is now the case thanks to a decree published in the Official Journal.

In a decree published in the Official Journal spotted by NextInpact, the government wanted to clarify the situation around “reconditioned products”. The expression has spread like wildfire, but is still subject to a relative legal vacuum. To protect consumers and allow them to see more clearly in this jungle of overused terms, the decision-makers chose to propose a precise definition; it will now serve as legal basis to give substance to this concept.

The publication, titled “Decree No. 2022-190 of February 17, 2022 relating to the conditions of use of the terms “reconditioned” and “reconditioned product “”, thus presents the legitimate terms of use of these terms. As of today, it is therefore illegal to affix these mentions to products that do not meet the four criteria below, taken from the official text:

-The product or the spare part has undergone tests covering all its functionalities in order to establish that it meets the legal safety obligations and the use that the consumer can legitimately expect

– If necessary, the product or the spare part has undergone one or more interventions in order to restore its functionality. This intervention includes the deletion of all data recorded or stored in connection with a previous use or a previous user, before the product or part changes ownership.

-The expressions “new condition”, “like new”, “as new” or any equivalent mention cannot be used for a product or a spare part qualified as “reconditioned product” or accompanied by the mention “reconditioned”.

-The use of the term “reconditioned in France” is reserved for the operations mentioned in article R. 122-4 which are carried out entirely on national territory.

Artistic blur will no longer be tolerated

Let us summarize these four points: now, any ambiguity on the new status of the product may be subject to reprisals to the court. To sell a refurbished product, it will therefore be necessary show your credentials. All functionality of the product will need to be met and defective items will need to be repaired. In addition, the retailer will have to do a thorough cleaning to purge the device of all personal data. He will also no longer be able to use misleading formulas that include the word “nine”.

In essence, these measures provide a form of insurance to customers. And that’s a good thing, because today the term “refurbished” is sometimes a real semantic trap. Indeed, some unscrupulous retailers did not hesitate to abuse it to replace the word “occasion”, a less popular term which can sometimes have a negative connotation in this context.

Others even made great efforts on the design and wording side so that the client associated the term “refurbished“to the word”new”, which obviously constitutes a form of deceptive and dishonest concealment. We can therefore be satisfied with this decision, which should considerably clarify the French second-hand market.

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