Warranties and Guarantees

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

An important feature to consider before buying a product or service is the warranty that comes with it. When reviewing warranties, use the guidelines below.

  1. Do not wait until the product fails or needs repair to find out what is covered in the warranty.
  2. If the product costs $15 or more, the law says that the seller must let you examine any warranty before you buy, if you ask to see it. So use your rights to compare the terms and conditions of warranties (or guarantees) on products or services before you buy. Look for the warranty that best meets your needs.
  3. When purchasing a product or service, ask these questions:
    • How long is the warranty, and when does it start and end?
    • What is covered? Which parts? What kinds of problems?
    • Will the warranty pay for 100% of repair costs, or will it pay for parts, but not for labor to do the repairs? Will it pay for testing the product before it is repaired? Will it pay for shipping and/or a loaner?
    • What do you have to do and when? Are regular inspections or maintenance required? Do you have to ship the product out of state for repairs?
    • Who offers the warranty, manufacturer or retailer? How reliable are they?
  4. Keep sales receipts and warranties in a safe place.
  5. Some states have additional warranty rights for consumers. Check with your state or local consumer protection office to find the laws in your state.

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