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Replacement Guarantee

White goods such as washing machines, refrigerators and household appliances help elevate consumer lives. When purchasing such items, consumers expect them to serve its intended purpose for a considerable period
06 Oct 2018 10:00
Replacement Guarantee
Independent Bus Fare Review Committee chairman, Joel Abraham

White goods such as washing machines, refrigerators and household appliances help elevate consumer lives.

When purchasing such items, consumers expect them to serve its intended purpose for a considerable period of time and in instances where it fails to be fit for purpose, they anticipate some sort of remedy from the trader.

Often traders provide some sort of warranty and/or guarantee on the product. In last week’s article we looked into ‘Retailers Warranty’, in this week’s article we take a look at ‘Replacement Guarantee’.

What is Replacement Guarantee?

A guarantee is a form of written assurance that a certain condition will be fulfilled, especially by the manufacturer of a product that the product will be replaced should it malfunction within a certain period of time.

Replacement guarantee is when the manufacturer promises to replace the product should it default within the time period stated in the terms and conditions provided in writing.

Guarantee can be found in a form of written agreement inside the package, or it can be found on the packaging itself.

For example, a consumer purchases an electric kettle and on the package there is a statement that reads “Replacement guarantee two (2) years” or “Replacement guarantee three (3) years”, as such if the product malfunctions within two (2) or three (3) years of purchase the consumer has full right to demand for a new electric kettle.

Replacement Guarantee vs. Warranty

Warranty is a commitment that the retailer or manufacturer make to consumers to ‘repair’ the product purchased at no cost to the consumer should it malfunction within a certain timeframe.

In comparison, replacement guarantee is a direct promise from the manufacturer that the product will be ‘replaced’ with a new one should it malfunction, in other words there will be no repairs but a direct replacement of product under this guarantee.

The replacement guarantee, provided by the manufacturer comes with a benefit that is, the faultyproduct being replaced with a new product by the manufacturer at no cost to the consumer.

However, consumers must read the replacement guarantee documents to see what all is covered and what aspects are not covered. For example, most of the replacement guarantee may not cover physical and/or liquid damages to the items.

Also, since the replacement guarantee is provided by the manufacturer who in most instances are based internationally and the benefit is only passed to consumers by the retailer, therefore consumers will be approaching the retailer unless required otherwise.

How retailers can avoid contravention of FCCC Act 2010

Retailers should not reduce or refuse to provide the replacement guarantee and offer an alternative retailers warranty of three (3) months’ or one (1) year at their own discretion despite a direct replacement being offered by the manufacturer within a specified time frame.

If any trader engages in such conduct, it may amount to a contravention of the Fijian Competition and

Consumer Commission Act 2010 (FCCC Act 2010) and they may be liable for further enforcement action.

Misleading consumers about replacement guarantee:

Retailers and Suppliers of the faulty product must not mislead consumers that the product won’t be replaced under the replacement guarantee.

For instance, a trader might make claims that the product will not be covered under replacement guarantee since it is not provided in the South Pacific or Fiji, and therefore they will instead provide a retailer’s warranty for three (3) or nine (9) months.

FCCC treats misleading conduct very seriously and will not hesitate to take action against businesses that mislead or deceive consumers.

Traders should provide people with the stipulated warranty and guarantee cover which justly allows them to seek redress if the need arises.

Traders and businesses need to be mindful of the fact that people have the purchasing power and they should work towards securing fair business transactions.

Doing so will also ensure compliance under the FCCC Act 2010.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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