WARRANTIES – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
A common question was posed to me after the Daily Mail feature that I took part in here which is worth looking at in a blog.
The question was;
“I bought a second-hand car in October 2018 and it has been a nightmare. I paid about £3,200 + my old car in exchange. After a month the ESP light came on. I went to the garage and I was given a bill of about £1,150. The warranty didn’t want to know anything about it and the dealer wasn’t picking up. I tried to go through the Small Claims Court but was scared to lose and then ended up paying more money. Do you think you could help?”
First of all, this case firmly falls within the remit of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 here which states that products / services must be;
Fit for purpose
Lasts a reasonable length of time
The customer has given them one opportunity to remedy the fault which occurred within 1 month of the purchase. Any faults found within the first 6 months are automatically presumed to have been there at the point of sale, so it is up to the seller to remedy it. This is known as a reverse burden of proof, which I explain further here.
Any faults found once 6 months has elapsed places the onus on you to prove that the fault was there when you bought the item. You can still proceed down that route and you have up to 6 years in England and Wales and up to 5 years in Scotland to do so. It just becomes a bit more difficult and protracted but it’s certainly not impossible, especially when the product in question has well-known faults such as Vauxhall Zafiras catching fire and Hyundai I40 clutches which I mention here.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 generally gives you more protection than any warranty which I explain here, although there are exceptions to the rule.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that a product must last a reasonable length of time. That is subjective, and a washing machine is a good example to look at in this scenario. If you are using your washing machine every day for 2 years, the company could easily say that this equates to what would be considered as ‘normal use’ under most circumstances for 6 year use. That would be put down as ‘wear and tear’.
A warranty would probably work for you in that scenario. However, what you have to also bear in mind is the cost of the warranty itself. Given that you can buy a decent washing machine for £200 – £400 (in my humble opinion!), you need to weigh up the cost of a warranty and if it’s worth having.
Your legal rights provides you with better protection than any warranty. This the reason why I wrote a book around a lifetime of bad experiences that I have been able to successfully resolve to raise awareness of consumer rights.
I have learnt the hard way so you don’t have to!