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Don’t waste your money on an extended warranty, warns CHOICE

Your rights in the lead up to Christmas and Boxing Day sales

A CHOICE survey[1] has found nearly one in five (18%) Australians are still buying extended warranties even when they offer nothing more than your legal rights, leading the consumer advocate to warn Australians in the lead up to Christmas and Boxing Day Sales.

“Don’t waste your money on an extended warranty,” says Julia Steward, Consumer Rights Expert at CHOICE.

“Many extended warranties largely replicate or underplay your existing rights under the Australian Consumer Law. They’re a sales trick to squeeze more money out of you that ignore your existing rights under the law. If someone tries to push an extended warranty on you, ask them ‘what does this give me beyond the Australian Consumer Law’,” says Steward.

Investigations in 2013 and 2015 by CHOICE found retailers heavily pushing extended warranties and often misleading people about their rights.

Read more about extended warranties at: CHOICE.com.au/WarrantyRights (we’d love a linkback if possible)

“Remember, your rights are often longer and more comprehensive than what you receive from a warranty. Your rights aren’t one-size-fits-all. Under the law, the products you buy should be eligible for refund, replacement or repair depending on the expected lifespan of the product. Not what the company says the warranty is,” says Steward.

CHOICE has also issued new advice on options if your Christmas or Boxing Day shopping doesn’t go to plan, including how to navigate credit card chargebacks.

Notes: 

[1] a nationally representative sample of 1112 Australians conducted 7-30 September 2020.

Embeddable infographic available here: https://infogram.com/christmas-and-boxing-day-sales-2020-1h984wo39dkvd6p?live 


Media contact: Jim Hook, 0430 172 669, media@choice.com.au

How do card chargebacks work? - CHOICE.com.au/Chargebacks (we’d love a linkback if possible)


Quotes attributable to Julia Steward, CHOICE Consumer Rights Expert:

Contact the retailer with your proof of purchase

“Provide your proof of purchase and be clear about what you want. Be firm, but polite in asking for your refund, repair or replacement.”

If you’re unhappy with the response

“Using the language of the Australian Consumer Law in a direct and formal way can help you assert your rights. Articulate how you believe the law has been breached, put it in writing and escalate to someone higher.”

Contact your local Consumer Affairs or Fair Trading body

“Consumer Affairs or Fair Trading in your state or territory are a good next step if you’re unhappy with the retailer’s response. It’s important to tell these bodies so they can act if there’s a broader issue at play.”

Consider asking for a debit or credit card chargeback or contacting the company you paid through

“Under some circumstances your bank or payment service may refund you. It’s important that you’ve kept records and tried to resolve things with the retailer first, as typically your bank will expect you’ve done this first.”