Useful letter in the paper

From the Guardian’s money section today: – never buy the extended warranty

The facts that could guarantee a response

I read with interest your correspondence over whether a reader’s broken dishwasher should be repaired for free by John Lewis once it is out of warranty. The question is not what guarantee attaches to the goods.

The question of guarantee extensions by a supplier is irrelevant. What does matter, is the Sale of Goods Act 1979, The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, The Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 and The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002. I refer you to the DTI fact sheet reference URN No: 05/1730, (see http://www.dti.gov.uk/consumers/Fact%20Sheets/p

age24700.html) which clearly sets out what should be expected when one purchases an item. To paraphrase, they “must be fit for the purpose” and “of satisfactory quality ie not inherently faulty at time of sale”.

The above Acts have a time limit, and I quote from the above document: “For up to six years after purchase (five years from discovery in Scotland) purchasers can demand damages (which a court would equate to the cost of a repair or replacement)”. Perishable goods do not come within the above time limit. The onus is on the seller and not the manufacturer “who is responsible if goods do not conform to contract”.

Personally, I would not purchase an extended guarantee. I rely on the protection provided by the above acts.

I have found that a seller, presented with the fact sheet, a well-reasoned explanation, coupled with the opportunity to examine the goods, or with photographs of the fault, will arrange a replacement or repair. It is reasonable to expect a dishwasher to last six years and I suggest would attract a repair/replacement offer rather than a need for a court’s decision plus attendant costs.
Brian Boon
Essex

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