When you buy something, you want to make sure that you get what you are expecting. You want a product that performs the way you were told it would perform at the time of purchase. If that doesn’t happen, you want to have some kind of recourse. This is why there are warranties.
However, a warranty also protects the warrantor. It has built-in stipulations that outline the responsibilities of the customer. If the customer has violated any of these reasonable terms, a warranty can be denied.
“Warranty” is a catchall term that refers to the agreement that exists between a manufacturer or merchant and the consumer. It details the responsibilities of each party should the product fail. This agreement may take several forms. In many instances, the consumer has more protection than they realize. The key to being empowered and making the most of a product warranty is understanding the four types of warranties.
As it sounds, an implied warranty isn’t written. It doesn’t even need to be spoken. In fact, the manufacturer has nothing to do with creating an implied warranty. It is created by state law. An implied warranty is based on legal precedents set by the courts regarding “fair value for money spent.” There are two parts of an implied warranty: the implied warranty of merchantability and the implied warranty of a product’s fitness.
An express warranty is created by the warrantor. It can be written or oral. A written express warranty is often a document that is included with the purchase. This document may be part of the owner's manual or be a separate piece of paper that outlines the agreement between the manufacturer and the consumer. Alternatively, a written express warranty may be a claim made on the product’s packaging. For instance, when a hand sanitizer is advertised as being able to kill germs in 15 seconds, this is a written express warranty.
An oral express warranty is expressed verbally. This could be a claim made on a television or radio commercial.
A full warranty means something very specific. It means the warranty is transferable, and the duration is not limited. A full warranty is offered free of charge and nothing unreasonable is required of the consumer to receive the full benefits of that warranty. Also, if a product cannot be repaired after a reasonable number of tries, the customer has the option of either getting a replacement or a full refund. Only if all of these conditions are met can a product be considered a full warranty.
A manufacturer can offer a limited warranty. This happens when one or more of the conditions required for a full warranty are not met. In this instance, the manufacturer must label its warranty as “limited.”
Since each type of warranty is a slightly different agreement between the seller and the buyer, the type of warranty is largely responsible for the reasons why it may be denied. For example, a full warranty is transferable between owners, while a limited warranty might not be. Here are 10 reasons a warranty might be denied:
A. Yes. For this reason, it is important to keep records of all promises of performance, regardless of whether they are in the warranty. For instance, a product that is advertised as having specific capabilities must live up to those advertising claims, whether or not they are also in writing.
A. No. The written express warranty is completely voluntary — a manufacturer does not have to offer a warranty in writing. However, if this is the case, the manufacturer must still abide by the state laws governing implied warranties. This way, the customer is always protected.
A. Yes. In fact, that is a very important part of a warranty: the consumer must be able to review the warranty in full before purchasing the product. This is handled in different ways by manufacturers and merchants, but it is not negotiable.
A. Whether it is an express warranty or an implied warranty, it is a contract between the consumer and the warrantor. If a company fails to honor its warranty, it is considered a breach of contract. This gives the buyer the ability to pursue legal action to settle any disputes.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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