When you buy goods and something goes wrong, it is often comforting to know that you can fall back on a manufacturer's guarantee.
However consider the following points;
- guarantees or warranties are in addition to your statutory rights. They do not replace them
- guarantees usually last a fixed period of time. Typically 12 months
- you may have to register your guarantee within a short period of time after buying the goods
- a guarantee may only entitle you to a repair or replacement
- you may be responsible for postage and packaging costs to send your goods to be examined and repaired
- the guarantee may be limited so check what is covered. Does it cover parts and labour?
- fair wear and tear, misuse and accidental damage will not be covered under most guarantees
You may be offered a long term guarantee for example on your double glazing, conservatory or other home improvements.
Unless the guarantee is backed by a valid and fully paid up insurance policy, if the trader goes out of business your guarantee is worthless.
Check the terms and conditions of the guarantee. It may only cover aspects of the work for example the seals on a double glazed unit.
Specific conditions placed on the consumer
When you read the small print you may become aware that in order to maintain the guarantee or warranty, goods may need regular servicing and maintenance. For example a new car or central heating boiler may have to be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Failure to carry out the appropriate servicing may invalidate any guarantee or warranty claim.
Some guarantees may be non-transferable so if you sell the goods, the guarantee or warranty terminates on transfer of ownership.
Buying an extended warranty
Buying an extended warranty is just like taking out an insurance policy. Cover can range from a repair or replacement to accidental damage. They vary in length and whilst often purchased alongside the goods, they can also be bought at a later date and can cover a number of household appliances.
Before you consider purchasing an extended warranty:
- find out what goods will be covered (some may be too old)
- are any goods still under a manufacturers guarantee?
- do you have the same or similar cover under a home contents insurance policy?
- do you know who the policy is with?
- does it represent good value for money?
- have you shopped around for best value?
- if you have a breakdown can this be resolved in Jersey?
- will you be expected to pay for a repair then make a claim or can the warranty providers pay direct?
Take time to consider the benefits of an extended warranty. If necessary ask to take a copy of the paperwork home so you can read it carefully.
Need more help or advice?
Contact our Consumer Advice Service for free confidential advice.
Consumer Advice Service