Monday 20 January 2020

Who should I ask to fix my broken fridge?

Once again confusion relating to warranties arises. Carmel is wondering what she can do about a broken fridge she bought just 15 months ago.

"The fridge worked perfectly up until a few weeks ago," she writes, "but now the thermostat has stopped doing its job, so I went back to the shop and asked for a repair."

The retailer advised Carmel to contact the manufacturer, who said that her fridge was still under warranty but as it was in the second year she would have to pay for the call-out, which would cost €60.

"Should I have to pay," asks Carmel. "Surely I'm entitled to have the fridge fixed?"

A The short answer is that, yes, if the fridge is defective Carmel is entitled to have it repaired for free, but that's the responsibility of the retailer.

The manufacturer on the other hand, and with whom Carmel is communicating, has no liability under consumer law to provide a remedy. Their responsibility lies in the fact that she has a warranty provided by them, so they must honour the terms of that agreement.

The terms of warranty agreements differ, and clearly under Carmel's one, in year two of the warranty repair is provided but the consumer must pay a call-out fee.

But what about her statutory rights? The retailer where Carmel bought the fridge still has an obligation. If a product is defective they must provide a remedy and that applies whether a warranty is in place or not.

Too many retailers send the customer to the manufacturer, but Carmel can insist on dealing with the shop and reminding them of her rights under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980.

Irish Independent

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