Would you pay for something you’re entitled to get for free? Buying an extended warranty on new whitegoods, electronics or even a car could mean you’re doing exactly that.
This is because products are automatically guaranteed in a number of ways under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which may apply even after the warranty period has lapsed.
In the past two years, Consumer Protection has received more than 1,300 enquiries and around 230 complaints about extended warranties, mostly to do with difficulties accessing a repair, refund or replacement when a product develops a fault within the warranty period.
Under the ACL, any product or service purchased from a business must be without faults, fit for the intended purpose, match any description or sample, as well as last a reasonable amount of time depending on what it is and how much it cost.
Businesses sometimes try to convince consumers they need an extended warranty or care package to receive a solution for a fault that occurs after the manufacturer’s warranty expires, but in reality this insurance policy may be for a scenario already covered by the law.
Take for instance a $2,000 television that comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of 12 months; should that device becomes faulty after 18 months, consumer law will already protect the purchase because it is reasonable to expect an expensive TV to last longer than one year.