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 electrical and kitchen 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 during 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 for certain conditions to be met. Unless you are expressly told otherwise when you bought the item, deal directly with the seller of the item if you need to return it under the guarantee.
Don’t forget the small print
The guarantee might explain what happens if you give or sell the item to somebody else during the guarantee period. 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 shop may ask if you would like to buy a warranty. This is like an insurance policy - it covers the product beyond the manufacturer's guarantee period.
So, you shouldn’t have to pay for repairs if the item breaks or becomes faulty within the period covered by the warranty.
Before you agree to a warranty, remember:
- It is completely optional and can be expensive, so do not feel pressured to take 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 company – they are enforceable through the courts if necessary.