When making a big purchase you might be offered an extended warranty. Before deciding whether to purchase one, make sure you know exactly what extra protections the warranty offers you, compared with the rights you already have under the Consumer Guarantees Act.
When you are offered an extended warranty, the business or salesperson must:
provide you with a document that on the front page explains the protections you automatically have under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) and compare your CGA protections with the protections offered by the extended warranty
explain that if you buy an extended warranty, you can change your mind and cancel the extended warranty within 5 working days, and get a full refund of the price you paid for the extended warranty.
Having this information means you can make an informed choice about whether you are better protected with an extended warranty than without one, whether you want or need the extended warranty, and whether it is worth the price you have to pay.
You must also be given a copy of the extended warranty agreement at the time you buy it.
If a business has breached these rules, you can make a complaint to us.
What is an extended warranty?
An extended warranty is sold for an additional price around the time you purchase goods, such as computers, mobile phones and washing machines, or services, such as trade services. An extended warranty is different to a manufacturer's warranty, which comes free with goods. It is also different from the guarantees implied by the CGA, which apply regardless and can be avoided only in limited circumstances.
What should the extended warranty agreement include?
You should be given a written copy of the extended warranty agreement at the time you buy it. The agreement must be in plain language, easy to read and clearly presented.
The front page of the agreement must have:
a summary of your rights and remedies under the CGA
a comparison between the relevant CGA guarantees and the protections provided by the extended warranty
a summary of your right to cancel the agreement
the business' name, street address, phone number and email address.
The agreement must be dated and include all of the terms and conditions – they cannot be on a separate document or webpage. This includes things like how long the warranty is for, when it expires and the total price you will pay.
What if I want to cancel my extended warranty?
When you buy an extended warranty, you have 5 working days (from the time you receive a copy of the agreement) where you can think about the extended warranty you have purchased and change your mind if you want to. If it is within the 5 working days, you can cancel the agreement and claim a full refund of the price you paid for it. Note: this only applies to the extended warranty, not the goods or services.
The business or salesperson must tell you this verbally (unless you purchase the extended warranty online) and must also be on the front page of the extended warranty agreement.
If you want to cancel the agreement, contact the business using the details provided. You can do this in writing or orally, and should make it clear that you want to cancel the agreement. You are then entitled to a full cash refund of the price you paid for the extended warranty.
What are my protections under the CGA?
There are minimum guarantees that apply to all products and services purchased from a supplier that are ordinarily acquired for personal, domestic or household use. If a guarantee is not met, the supplier of the goods or services, or in some cases, the manufacturer of goods must remedy the problem. The type of remedy, depends on the nature of the failure to meet the guarantee.
A business cannot mislead you about your protections under the CGA, for example telling you that your CGA rights are limited to a certain number of years. Doing so may breach the Fair Trading Act.