When purchasing, many consumers usually make decisions on the product they intend to buy based on 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 become defective, through no fault of theirs.
Therefore, when shopping this Christmas, it is critical to ensure that written warranties or guarantees are provided to you for certain products.
For products such as electrical appliances and cellular phones, if warranties/guarantees are not offered, it is the responsibility of you, as a consumer, to demand that businesses issue such documents to you at the time of purchase.
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.
More specifically, a warranty is a written guarantee given by the manufacturer or supplier to the purchaser undertaking to repair or replace the good or goods if not working properly.
Warranties are of two types, written or implicit. A written warranty is one, which the purchaser collects on his purchase. Meanwhile, an implicit warranty is not written but by law, the supplier must provide an automatic warranty for six months with a supply of parts and labour without charge.
The Consumer Affairs Act No. 13 of 2011 refers to the provision of warranties to consumer at the time of purchase.
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).
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.
For further information please contact the GNBS on Tel: 219-0062, 219-0065, 219-0066, 219-0069 or visit the GNBS website: www.gnbsgy.org
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