Warranties on purchases
When you buy an item, particularly an item that is expensive, you are going to want to make sure that the item lasts as long as possible. The last thing that you are going to want is for it to be broken or unusable. Unfortunately, sometimes, things happen, which means that you are left without the item, this is why it is wise to buy warranties on purchases you have made.
Sometimes it is possible to live without the item for a short period of time, but what if it is your cooker, your fridge or your television? You are going to want to make sure that things are fixed as soon as possible.
One way to try and protect the things that you buy, is to take out a warranty on that item. It can sometimes be an additional cost to pay out, but if you are buying something that is not only expensive, but that is much used, then this may be a worthwhile investment to make.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at warranties.
What is a warranty?
Warranties on purchases is a legally binding assurance that any problems that could occur with something that you have bought will be remedied, and all within a specified period of time.
A warranty will cover a variety of things that can go wrong with the item that you have bought. Often, it is bought as a way to give you peace of mind that everything will be fine with the item that you have bought.
The type of things that you can expect to see included with a warranty are:
- Cost of repairs to an item
- Cost of replacement parts for the item
- Cover for accident damage
The most common type of warranty that you will see is on electrical goods. These warranties will usually last for 12 months, however, you can also see them last as long as 2 years, and if the item is expensive, then a warranty can even last as long as 5 years.
Warranties on purchases is much the same as insurance policy, you may even find that some warranties are underwritten by insurance companies.
What happens if I don’t take out a warranty?
Not everyone can take out a warranty when they buy an item. However, this doesn’t mean that you are not going to be covered if anything goes wrong with your item. Thankfully the Sale of Goods Act is there to cover your statutory rights.
If you don’t have a warranty, then the retailer of the goods is liable for any faults that may develop within the first 6 months of owning the item. After this 6 month period it is going to be down to the consumer to prove that the fault is not down to misuse of the product, or perhaps that it is a part of the general wear and tear that you can expect.
Other factors that could also come into play is the price that has been paid for the item, the model or specification, the length of time that you have had the item and also, how long this particular item should be expected to last in normal circumstances.
By this we mean that if you have bought a particular product that is expected to last 6 years, yet it develops a fault after just 2, then the retailer or the supplier should provide you with a satisfactory repair, or, if this is not possible, a replacement or even a partial refund.
Do these rules apply if my warranty has run out?
There is no difference in the rules for those people who do not have a warranties on purchases or those who have an expired warranty. Everything is the same and the same considerations will also be taken into account when looking at your case.
What is an extended warranty?
As the name suggests, an extended warranty is one that lasts longer than the standard 1-2 years that you will often see with an item. The basic outline of these warranties are the same, they will cover damage to the item and also in some circumstances loss or theft of the item.
Whilst you can be covered by the Sale of Goods Act, one of the best ways to protect yourself in the event of an expensive or much needed item breaking down or being damaged, is to take out an extended warranty.
What legislation relates to warranties?
When it comes to warranties, there is some legislation that relates to warranties, particularly extended warranties. This is the Supply of Extended Warranties on Domestic Electrical Goods Order 2005. The order contains some key points that must be adhered too. This includes:
- The price of the warranty must be displayed with the item, not only in store, but online and also in any advertisements too
- The statutory rights of the consumer must be provided
- The right to cancel and what to do if the company goes out of business must be explained
- There must be information on what to do following a claim
- The 45 day cooling off period must be highlighted
- The right to purchase a warranty for up to 30 days on the same terms as the first day must be provided
These rules, however, will not apply if the warranty was provided for free and if the warranty does not cover repair or replacement of goods.
A warranty, particularly an extended one is there to protect you and your item. So, if you are investing in something expensive, perhaps it is a good idea to take one out to ensure that you are completely covered should the worst happen.
About the author:
This article was written by a member of the Expert Answers legal advice team and posted by Lloyd Barrett. Expert Answers provides online legal advice on all aspects of UK Law to users in the United Kingdom.