Consumer Goods – Extended Warranties

Have you ever wondered when you are purchasing a new appliance such as a freezer or washing machine, why the sales person is anxious to sell you an extended warranty?

You would expect that the supplier would stand behind the quality of their goods and such an extended warranty would be unnecessary, however in most instances, the supplier will only offer you a 12 month guarantee with the goods as supplied from the manufacturer. What is not clear to most people is that the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 (“the Act”) already provides much of the protection that the purchaser needs when acquiring such appliances. The Act imposes an obligation on the manufacturer and supplier to ensure that the goods are fit for the purpose, they are durable, that they are sold free of defects and that the goods match their description.

If the appliance you have purchased fails after the 12 month guarantee or warranty runs out, what are your remedies? It is clear from the Act, that your remedies extend the 12 month warranty period, so if the goods are fit for the purpose they are supplied, then you are entitled to expect that they will last beyond the minimal period covered by the warranty. It follows therefore that your washing machine, television, etc. should in fact last the 3 years or so proposed by the extended warranty being offered to you at additional cost at the time of purchase. My own response at the time of purchase is to let the vendor know that the extended warranty is not necessary as I am already protected by the Consumer Guarantees Act.