MY MONEY

Why an expired warranty doesn't mean you're out of rights

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It might surprise you to hear that just because a product is out of warranty doesn't mean you don't have a case to take it back for repair or replacement if it breaks down.

"Many consumers often assume that the so-called warranties they are offered by a retailer are their only protection," says ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper.

"This is not true, as consumer guarantee rights are separate to any warranty that comes with a product. The length of time these rights apply is also unrelated to the manufacturer's warranty period.

"For example, if you buy a new TV that breaks down after the manufacturer's warranty expires, you may still be entitled to a remedy under your consumer guarantee rights, including a repair, replacement or refund."

warranty rights broken appliance

warranty broken appliance rights accc

Simply take the product back to the retailer and explain the situation. And don't listen to them if they say you need to take the faulty product back to the manufacturer.

"If you return a faulty product to the retailer you purchased it from, they must provide you with a remedy and cannot direct you to the manufacturer instead," Schaper says.

"One common tip we recommend is saying the three magic words, Australian Consumer Law, to let retailers know you understand your rights. This can help resolve an issue quickly."

Visit accc.gov.au for more details on your consumer guarantee rights.

Maria Bekiaris is editorial campaigns manager for Canstar and former deputy editor of Money. She holds a Bachelor's degree in business.
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