The outcome of my warranty claim is unfair. What are my options?
Updated: May 19
A warranty is a guarantee made by a business selling an item that states under what circumstances they will return or repair it and the timeframe in which a defect must arise for them to do so.
Unfortunately, many people encounter issues when making warranty claims to have their purchased items repaired, replaced, or refunded. The experience is frustrating and can make one feel powerless.
Below are a few arguments businesses sometimes use when rejecting a warranty claim. Perhaps you have heard these yourself:
“It was your fault. You were rough on the product and didn’t use it correctly.”
“It’s not broken. You are imagining the issue, or it can be easily fixed.”
“You have brought this issue to our attention outside of the warranty timeframe.”
“The proof of purchase you have is not conclusive or official enough.”
“The business does not exist anymore.”
What can I do when my warranty claim is rejected?
Firstly, here are a few strategies you should avoid. These will only compromise your standing and make it less likely that your claim will ultimately be successful.
Leave an over-the-top negative review online. If you must leave a negative review, be careful with your wording and do not slander the company or staff.
Threaten the business. You can mention the possibility of legal action but never make physical threats or blackmail.
If you are on a payment plan, be aware that the business may take legal action if you stop making payments.
Here are a few things you should do instead:
Consider whether there is a better person or department to talk with. You may be able to escalate the issue by talking with senior managers.
If you are talking with a stockist or distributor, try talking to the manufacturer’s warranty team directly.
Keep thorough documentation of the issues with the product. Take photos and videos to demonstrate the defects and make sure these are dated.
Reread the warranty paperwork. Consider whether you have missed anything that may be relevant. Even if you discover the warranty is worded in such a way that you don’t fall under its terms, you may still be covered under consumer law.
Try to keep everything in writing. Even if you have a phone conversation, follow it up with an email. Ask for the email address on the phone if necessary and ask the seller to acknowledge they have received the email. Get their denial of your claim in writing.
Talking to a Sydney Warranty Lawyer
Finally, if all else fails, the final and most effective option may be to bring in legal support. Here at Arida Lawyers, we specialise in consumer law, warranty law and contract law, as well as debt recovery, employment law and building and construction law.
We have helped many clients to successfully resolve consumer disputes in their favour. We can represent you throughout the legal process and advise on unfair contract terms, misleading representations, unfair practices, consumer guarantees under consumer law and manufacturer liability.