A Consumer Guarantee Lawyer Will Protect You From Poor Suppliers
When you are shopping for products, you should know that consumer guarantees are designed to protect you from poor suppliers. They cover products that are broken upon delivery, ones that do not perform as expected, that are not as described, and ones that break before what could be considered to be a reasonable period of normal day-to-day use.
Both shops and manufacturers have a responsibility towards consumers, to honour guarantees. The store that you bought the product from should be your first port of call if something goes wrong. They will take care of issues for you in the first few weeks after purchase (and often, for longer than that, depending on the nature of the product and their own policy). For higher value products, though, the responsibility then falls to the manufacturer. If your games console stops working or your washing machine stops leaking, then you should call the number listed in the manual because the manufacturer will probably have a repair or replacement policy.
Don’t just accept broken goods out of a desire to not be a problem customer. You are within your rights to get good products and to enjoy good customer service. Do not just accept the service that you are given if it isn’t up to scratch. If you don’t complain when products aren’t up to scratch, then the sellers and the manufacturers will not know that there is a problem, so not only do you suffer, other customers suffer as well, and the companies will not get the information they need to rectify the issue.
Consumer laws include protection for online or mail order purchases, and protection for goods that are not as described. You can expect a product to have a reasonable life span, which will vary depending on what you have bought. For example, clothing might only last a year or so if it is cheap, but cast iron cookware could be expected to last several years. Computer components might have a warranty for a few years, but the definition of ‘normal use’ would not include overclocking, because that means operating the hardware outside of normal parameters.
Tread carefully when you are buying used goods – many sellers will offer warranties for a few months, but they are not going to be as long as the warranty for a brand new product. When you buy on auction sites, if a product is ‘sold as seen’ or for ‘spares or repair’ then you are accepting that what you are getting might not work.
Guarantees for business-to-business sales are not the same as for consumers, but you still do have some protections. It is up to you to research the contract and make sure that you are getting what you need. You should be able to confidently pass on your warrant to your customers, so that everyone gets a good shopping experience and can make purchases confident that they will get what they expect.
If you live in New Zealand and need a consumer guarantee lawyer, try McVeagh Fleming.