Cleaning your coffee machine with vinegar, vacuuming up ash and other slip-ups might actually void your product’s warranty. Have you ever been refused a repair because of how you used the product?
Looking into the fine print of product warranties, there are many commonplace behaviours that will void the warranty. How you use it, how you clean it and where you keep it may all affect whether the manufacturer will agree to fix a broken product.
Cleaning your coffee machine
For example, the warranty on your coffee machine could be voided if you use it in a farmhouse, or if you don’t descale it regularly using the appropriate descaler. But make sure not to use vinegar, as that may also void your warranty.
Some coffee machine manufacturers even recommend that you keep the machine’s original packaging just in case you need to send it back for repairs, because any damage that occurs in transit will not be covered by its warranty.
If you stray too close to the fireplace while vacuuming and suck up some ash, or if you’re renovating and vacuum up some rubble or plaster, your warranty on your vacuum cleaner could very well be voided.
Or, if you have a pressure cleaner, some brands will only cover warranty repairs if you’ve used their branded detergent.
Too cold for your freezer
Keeping your washing machine somewhere that goes below zero degrees Celsius – like your garage – may also void your warranty.
We’ve heard from Which? members who have bought a chest freezer advertised as ‘suitable for outbuildings’, only to find when they read the manual that it’s designed to operate in temperatures ranging from 10 to 43 degrees. And this isn’t an issue that only affects the few. Out of 2,605 voters, 85% of you said that you keep your freezer in the garage.
The question is; are these warranty clauses actively referred to by manufacturers to turn down customers who want their products repaired?
Of course, you should remember that you have the option to go to the retailer in the first instance with your faulty product. Still, I’d love to hear your examples – have you or someone you know had a warranty repair refused based on a so-called behaviour clause?