Worried that an appliance of yours may develop a fault?
We explain how appliance warranties and guarantees work.

Appliance Warranties

Our homes are full of vital appliances that most of us take for granted, from our fridges and ovens to washing machines and tumble dryers. But nothing lasts forever, and once your home appliances eventually break down, are you properly covered? Read on to find out all you need to know about appliance warranties and what you can do in an emergency.

Manufacturer's guarantee

Almost all appliances bought new have a manufacturer’s guarantee. This means if they break within a certain timeframe that the manufacturer will replace or repair it without a charge to you.

Be careful though, most appliances are unlikely to be covered by the manufacturer's guarantee for more than the first year of use, which leads us to…

Extended warranty

A broken appliance without a manufacturer’s fee could cost you more than a bit to fix. Plus, most appliances seem to break when its most inconvenient, imagine your fridge going just before Christmas for example!

An extended warranty is a type of insurance that covers you beyond the end of your manufacturer’s guarantee. For example, if your dishwasher were to break after the first year and the end of the manufacturer’s guarantee due to a mechanical or electrical failure, the warranty will cover however much it is to get it fixed or replaced.

While some retailers may try and sell you extended warranty when you buy from them remember to check online for a cheaper deal. If you want to insure more than one item on the same policy it is possible to do this, but your premiums will go up!

Most extended warranties don’t cover accidental damage, and they may have restrictions on what they will and won’t pay out for. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully and know what you’re signing up for before you make a decision.

Your Rights

If you think the product you bought was faulty when you purchased it, there is something you can do about it. You can check if this applies to your product under the following criteria under Consumer Rights Act 2015:

  • Satisfactory quality — The quality of the products should meet the standard that a reasonable person would consider satisfactory, taking into account any description of the goods; the price or other consideration for the goods; and all other relevant circumstances.
  • Fit for purpose — The goods must be able to serve the purpose outlined to you on time of purchase
  • As described —The product must match any samples or description that was given to you on time of purchase

Here's a brief summary of your consumer rights in relation to returning faulty goods to a retailer:

  • You have a 30-day period to reject a product any reasonable person wouldn’t find satisfactory. If the product develops a fault within this period, you're entitled to a free refund.
  • The 30-day right doesn't apply to digital goods — such as music, games or apps — but you can ask the retailer to repair or replace the product.
  • After the 30-day period, you must give the retailer an opportunity to repair or replace the product. If they can’t do this, you can ask for a full refund or price reduction on the faulty product.
  • If you find a fault within the first six months, it is assumed that the fault was there when the product was purchased unless the retailer can prove otherwise. If they can’t repair or replace the product, you're entitled to return the goods and receive a full refund or, if you want to keep the product, a price reduction.
  • After six months, the onus is on you to prove the product was faulty at the time of purchase.

The Consumer Rights Act states, that the same standards applies to digital content as physical goods. If you find digital goods to be faulty, then you have a right to ask the retailer to repair or replace them. If they can’t do this, then you're able to ask for a full refund

If you want to take a faulty goods claim to small claims court, you have six years to do so.

There you have it, an easy guide to appliance warranty, and your rights in relations to faulty goods. Now in case your fridge does break down before Christmas, you have some idea of what you can do to protect yourself and your appliances.