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Did your purchase just die 2 days after the warranty expired?

Out of warranty

Don’t you hate that!

But – make sure you still ask the retailer and/or the manufacturer for it to be repaired (or replaced). And they may be legally obliged to!

Under Australian Consumer Law you automatically also have a government or “statutory warranty period”.

How long is this extra warranty for? Well that depends on the purchase. The Law says that this “warranty” applies for a reasonable time depending on the nature of the goods or services. This means consumer guarantees may continue to apply after the time period for the manufacturers warranty has expired.

The time-frame of this warranty should reflect the likely lifespan of that product based on factors like:  how much you paid for it; if it was advertised as a “quality” product; and what promises were made in the advertising about that product.

For example perhaps you paid twice as much for the “top end” product on the basis that the quality was good. Most people would expect that that product to work well for a few years. It is therefore reasonable for you to ask the manufacturer to repair outside of their warranty period it if it breaks in the first year.

To make a request to the manufacturer / retailer using phrases like: “I am making a warranty claim under Australian Consumer Law consumer guarantees.”

Be clear about the facts: the date purchased; the price; if the seller made other promises; and the date and nature of the defect.

Acknowledge that you know the manufacturers warranty has expired eg “Although the manufacturers warranty has expired, I believe given the implied quality of this product, and reasonable consumer expectations about how long it should last for, you are obligated to replace or repair it under Australian Consumer Law.

Add any additional factors that support your position that the warranty should be for longer that they stated e.g. You will note that the pricing you apply to this product places it at the top end of the market. As such it is reasonable for consumers to expect it to be of such quality that it will last this long.

Ask them for the fix you want and remind them that you will be taking the matter to the Department of Fair Trading (In NSW – or the equivalent body in your state) if the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction promptly.

Under the law the retailer or the manufacturer must address your concerns. They can’t say “not my problem – call the other party”. So decide who it is more convenient for you to pursue the warranty with – often the manufacturer if you need a repair.

# This material is content that is drawn from Australian Consumer Law, which is a component of many subjects offered in ACCM College courses.

Dave O'Reilly

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