An extra level of protection for peace of mind, or a duff deal? What’s your experience with warranties?
All electrical goods come with a warranty, but some retailers sell extended warranties.
Like an insurance policy for your product, warranties are supposed to be an additional level of protection on top of your statutory rights. But is this always the case, and are warranties really worth it?
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recently reprimanded the retailer Argos for the way it sold extended warranties.
The CMA found that Argos wasn’t providing customers with the necessary information they needed to compare the price of an extended warranty offer.
In 2012, Argos signed a legally binding agreement to provide a link to a price comparison website when it offered an extended warranty for electrical products online. This link would allow customers to compare prices and help inform their decision over whether or not to buy an extended warranty.
An investigation found that Argos hadn’t displayed this link for more than 400,000 sales of extended warranties and 114,000 customers could’ve found a better deal through the comparison website.
Affected customers are being contacted by Argos and will be offered an e-gift card as a goodwill payment.
This isn’t the first time a retailer has breached the rules around selling warranties. In 2019, the CMA found that Currys PC World may have been mis-selling extended warranties after finding examples of staff incorrectly telling customers that its warranty covered cosmetic damage, and failing to provide customers with a quote before selling the warranty.
You have statutory rights that apply to everything you buy and these rights are valid no matter what warranty or guarantee you sign up for. Your rights are covered under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Warranties can be more generous than your statutory rights, but sometimes these products have exclusions and some warranties lapse after a short period of time.
You should be provided with all the necessary information about the cost and cover of a warranty before you buy it. Make sure you read the terms and conditions before you buy an extended warranty as you could find that your rights are already covered.
You may even find that an existing insurance policy (home, packaged bank account or gadget insurance) would give you sufficient cover, so a warranty could be a complete waste of money.
Which? Has carried out lots of research into warranties, but we want to hear more about your experience with these products.
Have you found a warranty to be a useful tool for you? Or have you been sold a warranty that’s turned out to be a duff deal? Do you think you could have been mis-sold a warranty?
Let us know in the comments.