Valid warranties must comply with below requirements.
- Warranties need to be phrased in a way that is easy to understand.
- Warranties need to refer to consumers’ statutory rights, and explicitly state that they do not affect the consumers’ statutory rights.
- Warranties need to contain the full set of terms and conditions, including all relevant details of how to make a claim, the warranty term, the country or region the warranty is limited to, and the name and address of the warranty provider.
Statutory consumer rights vs extended warranties
Manufacturers’ extended warranties and your statutory rights as a consumer (aka 24-month statutory guarantee) are two completely different things. Extended warranties are provided voluntarily, unlike 24-month guarantees (or 12-months guarantees, in the case of pre-owned products). Moreover, extended warranties are basically a type of additional product service that won’t affect, or replace, a consumer’s statutory rights.
Statutory consumer rights
Consumers buying a product have certain statutory rights, imposing liability on manufacturers and retailers. Customers can exercise these rights in the case of product faults where the damage has not been caused by the consumer. If a product malfunctions within six months after the purchase, law considers the item as having been faulty at the time it was sold, and holding the manufacturer/retailer responsible, unless the retailer/manufacturer is able to prove that the damage is a result of inappropriate use by the customer.
However, in the event of a product malfunctioning during the remaining 18 months, it’s the consumer who needs to proof that the item was already faulty at the time of purchase. Example: if the LC display of a voltage tester you bought at Conrad stops working after two months, we replace the faulty tester with a new one.
Extended warranties are optional additional product services provided by manufacturers and/or retailers. Their terms and conditions may depend on the product sold and may vary, but they need to comply with the law. Example: A PC screen manufacturer provides an 18-month extended warranty that covers buyers for defective pixels, offering a replacement product in the event of a pixel malfunction. In his case, the buyer needs to return the faulty screen to the manufacturer, and not to the retailer or seller.