Guarantees and warranties
A guarantee is an agreement from the manufacturer confirming that they will repair or replace an item if something goes wrong within a certain amount of time after you buy it.
Household products like appliances and furniture often come with a guarantee.
A guarantee gives you additional protection and strengthens your consumer rights. The guarantee usually applies to the item for a specific time after you purchase it.
Guarantees can also apply to services, for example, installation and repair services in your home can have a guarantee.
Check the terms and conditions
Always check the terms and conditions of the guarantee. For example, you may need to register the guarantee with the manufacturer in order to activate it. Unless you are expressly told otherwise when you bought the item, deal directly with the business you bought the item from if you need to return it under the guarantee.
Always read the small print
Find out exactly what is covered by the guarantee. For example, with electrical goods, are all parts or just specific parts covered? Is labour included and is there a limit on the amount of labour covered.
When you are buying a product, the business may ask if you would like to buy a warranty. This is like buying an insurance policy – it covers the product beyond the manufacturer’s guarantee period.
The idea of a warranty is that you won’t have to pay for repairs if the item breaks or becomes faulty within the warranty period.
Before you agree to a warranty, remember:
- The salesperson may be receiving commission for each warranty sold. It is completely optional and can be expensive, so do not feel pressurised into taking one.
- Consider the cost of replacing the faulty item and compare this to the cost of the warranty. Replacing the item may cost less than the warranty.
- Guarantees and warranties are legally binding on the business – they are enforceable through the courts if necessary.
And remember also that you still have your consumer rights if something goes wrong, regardless of any guarantee or warranty.