Warranty rights and wrongs

Use our tools to insist on your rights when products don’t work as they should. And help us pressure retailers to sign our Fair Warranty Charter.
Learn more
  • Updated:3 Dec 2009

05.Consumer stories

Tell us your story

Share your warranty experience or any comments on how to get the most out of your warranty rights or our Fair Warranty Campaign.

Miriam's story 

When her phone handset broke down, Miriam wrote to us about her dispute with Virgin Mobile. It concerned the replacement of a defective mobile phone provided as part of a contracted plan. Virgin Mobile attempted to repair it three times, but was unsuccessful. Their other responses included asking Miriam to pay to get an upgraded handset, directing her to the manufacturer and telling her she should return the handset for repair — for the fourth time.

Miriam didn’t think any of these options were adequate, as the phone did not seem to her to be of acceptable quality. She didn’t think it was appropriate to be directed to the manufacturer, as her contract was with Virgin Mobile. Nor was a fourth repair attempt acceptable. We agree with Miriam that the appropriate response in this circumstance is to replace the defective phone immediately.

Felipe’s story

Felipe wrote to us about a LG DVD Recorder and Player which he purchased two years ago from the Good Guys for $479. At the time, he was offered an extended warranty of five years which he did not take up. As a pensioner, he could only just afford the unit, but certainly not an extended warranty as well. He expected this equipment to last, on a fully operational basis, for more than two years. One of the features that Filipe liked was the ability to delete ads from programs. This particular feature no longer works as it is supposed to.

He approached The Good Guys in the hope they would be prepared to service the player. They refused to do so, saying that the normal 12 month manufacturer’s warranty had lapsed. Felipe made contact with Consumer Protection in Western Australia. Although they took up the matter with the retailer, they were unable to persuade the Goods Guys to change their position.

We agree with Felipe that the retailer, the Good Guys, has a responsibility to repair or replace the machine, or provide him with a refund, as the machine no longer performs as is reasonably expected. We think that an important feature of a high value product should last for longer than two years. We have sent the Good Guys the Fair Warranty Charter, which summarises retailers' warranty responsibilities to customers. So far, they haven’t signed up. Join us in calling on them, and other major retailers, to sign the Fair Warranty Charter.


Sign up to our free

Receive FREE email updates of our latest tests, consumer news and CHOICE marketing promotions.

Your say - Choice voice

Make a Comment

Members – Sign in on the top right to contribute to comments