Here is a condensed summary article on warranties and the different types of warranties.
When we buy a product or obtain a service, sometimes the product or service may come with a warranty. The warranty is a guarantee that the product or service sold is as described by the seller, and if the product or service does not meet expectations, the warranty gives the buyer a chance to get a refund or replacement.
Warranties can be either express warranties or implied warranties.
The seller of the product lists out how and to what extend the particular product is assured. The seller also states under what type of conditions the product can be returned, replaced or repaired. The seller is in essence giving some kind of guarantee for the product. In a nutshell, express warranties are based on what the seller says about the goods.The statement may be expressed as a representation of fact, a promise, or a representation of intent. How is the statement made? The statement can be made orally, in writing, or by advertisement. Therefore, any statement made by the seller becomes an express warranty, especially if the buyer relies upon it to purchase the goods. Once the warranty is put into place, sellers are legally obliged for the terms of the express warranty.
Under implied warranties, the seller does not issue any guidelines or statements about the product or service. An implied warranty is based on an assumption that there is an understanding of some sort of guarantee between buyer and seller. Under implied warranties, the warranty is based upon the buyer’s reasonable expectations about the goods. This warranty is not dependable upon what the seller or provider of service says.The warranty of merchantability is implied, unless the seller puts “as is” when selling the goods or “with faults”. To be merchantable, the goods must reasonably conform to the buyer’s expectations. The warranty of fitness for a particular purpose is implied when a buyer relies upon the seller to select the goods to fit a specific request. For example, this warranty is violated when a buyer asks a mechanic to provide snow tires and receives tires that are unsafe to use in snow. If the buyer has reasonable expectations of the goods, this warranty protects the reasonable expectations of the buyer, after all the circumstances under which the goods has been bought has been taken into consideration. Implied warranties provide protection against faults that are unexpected. Even when the seller says nothing at all, implied warranties can be applied.For example, there can be implied warranty of durability, whereby, if one buys a radio, and the radio cannot receive radio signals to play songs. The implied warranty applies in this case and the customer may apply to get refund or replacement.
In retail business, extended warranty refers to a guarantee of the reliability of a product under conditions of ordinary use. Such warranties usually do not cover “acts of God“, owner abuse, malicious destruction, commercial use, or anything, for that matter, outside of a mechanical failure incurred with normal personal usage. Extended warranties or “purchase warranties” are something like service or insurance contracts. Such contracts are sold separately to provide repair and maintenance for a certain time period. Consumers have to pay extra money to get the benefits under the extended warranties.
Lifetime Warranty is a guarantee for the whole of the product’s lifetime usefulness. However, defects due to wear and tear are not covered.
Breach of Warranty
Warranties are broken when the goods does not fit the product description, or does not meet reasonable expectations of the buyer. It does not matter if the defect is obvious or not at the time of purchase. The seller should make a refund to the buyer, or attempt to repair the goods, or provide replacement. If the item was defective, the existence of the extended warranty is secondary, as the terms of the primary warranty has been violated.
In the United States, the rights and remedies of buyers and sellers of goods are governed by the Article 2 of Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The UCC governs both express and implied warranties. It also covers the extent to which sellers may disclaim certain types of warranties (e.g., warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, or even disclaim all warranties in the case of goods sold “as is.”Whereas in the U.S. warranties are generally provided in writing subject to control of the laws, in other countries warranties may be governed by specific statutes. For example, a country’s law may provide that goods are assured by the seller for a period of 12 months and may provide other specific rights and remedies in the event of a product failure. However, even in the U.S. there are specific laws that may provide warranties or warranty-like assurances to buyers. For example, many states have statutory warranties on new home construction, and many have so-called “lemon laws” governing new motor vehicles with repeated defects.
http://www.accc.gov.au (Australian competition and consumer commission)
http://law.unb.ca (UNB law school)