What protection does a statutory warranty give me?
For GOODS, basic statutory warranty rights include that the goods are:
Of merchantable or acceptable quality — work the way you’d expect it to, given the price and how the goods are described. Goods should not have any hidden defects. If any exist, they should be pointed out prior to sale
Fit for purpose — does the job the customer told the retailer, or that is implied
Matches description or sample — must match any sample presented either in person, on the labelling or packaging, or in any ads
For SERVICES basic statutory warranty rights include that the:
Other warranties you many have
Service must be carried out with due care and skill — the work should be of a standard you’d expect of a person in the particular trade or profession
Materials supplied in connection with the service must be reasonably fit for the purpose for which they are supplied — they must achieve the result the customer wants
There are two other main types of warranties —
manufacturers’ warranties and extended warranties. While these may be more familiar, the protections they provide are limited.
- There are pre-determined time limits: Manufacturers warranties are subject to pre-determined time limits (often 12 months), meaning you can miss out on getting protection
- You may be required to contact the manufacturer: Manufacturers warranties and extended warranties often require the customer to contact the manufacturer, or someone else, who you generally haven’t bought the goods or services from, rather than being able to return to your retailer, which is often more convenient
- Extended warranties can be expensive: Although the cover you get often overlaps with what you should reasonably be able to claim under statutory warranty, and with extended warranties you pay a significant additional cost for this ‘privilege’
CHOICE recommends you think twice about whether you need to buy an extended warranty. You should feel confident that the statutory warranty is likely to protect you in the event that the product you purchase breaks down or doesn’t work in a way that you’d reasonably expect. If you’re unsure, ask the retailer, or call up your state or territory fair trading office for more details.
Important: You should always keep hold of receipts, and store them somewhere easy to retrieve. Photocopying or scanning receipts may be a good way to ensure that if they fade you still have a receipt you can provide to the retailer.
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