Never trust warranties

Warranties are written by lawyers to protect the seller

They do not protect you

Read on to see what everyone should know about warranties, but nobody does.

Warranty Pitfalls

These are some things you need to know about warranties

  • Make note of the date you made the purchase as well as the duration of the warranty. Also, note when the warranty starts. Not all warranties start on the date of purchase
    • The warranty should specify the duration in the title, like “90 Day Limited Warranty”
    • Many warranties limit the time you have between when you notice a problem and when you notify the seller of the problem
  • Some warranties require you, the buyer, to provide maintenance according to manufactures instructions and keep records
    • You have to keep records of service. Even though you may have the “Authorized Dealer” provide service, that does not mean he follows manufacturer’s directions. Keep Records. Read the owner’s manual.
  • Some warranties allow the seller to make repairs using substitute or reconditioned parts
  • Warranties are usually at the seller’s discretion. That means he gets to decide if the needed repair is warranty or if you pay. 
  • Note where a repair can take place. Are you responsible for removing the item and returning it to the seller? Who pays for this? The seller is usually required to specify the location where the warranty repair takes place.

As a rule, Warranties do not protect you. They are an aggressive marketing tool used to increase profits. Companies are in business to make money. Nothing else! To provide warranty repair or reimbursement is a net loss. So, sellers use many strategies to avoid the loss.

  • Intimidation
    • When you decide you need warranty service you may encounter an aggressive representative who is trained to handle you.
      • You may be asked questions like if you read the owner’s manual, when you registered the warranty or when you sent in the warranty card, if you are using the item properly, did you have it professionally installed, or a host of other questions intended to deflect.
      • Sometimes operating instructions are confusing or even contradictory. Any mistake that you may have made can void a warranty.
      • On the other hand, you might find someone nice who just gives you a new one.
  • Deception
    • Seller may
      • Agree to make a repair and then not do it
      • Give you incorrect information about what the warranty covers
      • Burden the buyer with procedure
      • Falsely claim you failed to follow instruction.
  • Confusing terminology
    • Merchantability
      • This means a product needs to be able to perform it’s obviously intended purpose. If you buy a clothes dryer it needs to be able to dry clothes.
        • A warranty may have a provision limiting merchantability.
  • Court systems
    • If a claim is less than $5000, many states require you use the small claims courts where you represent yourself. You’ll probably win, but small claims courts may not be able to help you collect. Claims over $5000 usually require you hire a lawyer but the cost to you of a lawyer may be more than the claim.

Sellers know the court system and as a result do not fear it.

Policy as opposed to warranty

Look for sellers who have policy accounts or free return accounts.

Many big stores have a deal with their vendors that requires the vendor to take back an item if a buyer is unhappy and replace it with a new item. The store will usually pass this on to the buyer. This is not warranty. This is “free return” policy. They do not have to do it.

The big store has such large buying power that their vender may do this to get the volume.

Policy accounts are something different. Some sellers will go to great lengths to make a customer happy, just to keep the business. Again, there is no requirement for the seller to do this.

I recommend you never buy an extended warranty.

If you want a clear understanding of warranties in your state, contact a lawyer.

Our Legal Disclaimer:

Keep in mind everything in this article is strictly my opinion and often times I really do not know what I’m talking about!

All information expressed by Standby Power Solutions, LLC or its officers is strictly the opinion of Standby Power Solutions, LLC.

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