Todays date:
17 January 2018

CONSUMERS! – REMEMBER TO REQUEST WARRANTIES/GUARANTEES THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON

For many consumers, the deciding factors for purchasing a product are often affordability, price, brand, performance and quality. In addition to these, it is also imperative that consumers find out just who will accept responsibility if items they purchased becomes defective, through no fault of theirs. Therefore, shoppers, it is crucial to ensure that you are provided with a written warranty or guarantee when making purchases.

For products such as electrical appliances and cellular phones, if warranties/guarantees are not offered, it is the responsibility of you the consumer to demand that businesses issue such documents to you during purchases. If it is an imported product you are buying, it is likely that the manufacturer from the country of origin has provided a warranty on his/her product which local suppliers must pass on to you.

A warranty is a promise by the manufacturer that he/she will accept responsibility for defects and liability for repairing or replacing an item sold which is not of merchantable quality. A guarantee is an assurance that the goods or service is of a specified quality and durability.

Warranties /guarantees must contain the following information:

  • Name and address of the guarantor,
  • The duration of the warranty (6 months, 1 year, etc.),
  • What exactly the warranty covers (whether the whole product or part), and
  • The warranty performance (whether the item would be repaired, replaced or the cost will be refunded).

    Buy products with warranty.

    Buy products with warranty.

As you engage in shopping for the holidays, pay attention to the details of the warranty and or guarantee offered to you, especially if you are purchasing items such as electrical appliances, computers, furniture, generators, motor vehicles, cell phones, etc. If the business establishment from which you would like to make a purchase does not provide a warranty/guarantee or you are not satisfied with the details and conditions stipulated in the document, be sure to find another business to make your purchases. You can also report your case to the Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission.

Because warranty agreements vary, it is advisable that suppliers take some time to outline or explain to their customers the content of such agreements.  This will help consumers to understand the coverage offered and avoid difficulties in the event the item becomes defective and there is need to seek redress.

Finally, it is the practice for some businesses to charge a fee for extended warranties. Providing extended warranties at a cost should be optional to consumers, and should be an addition to the actual warranty, which should be provided with the sale of the product.

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