Express Warranties Explained
Express warranties are an important part of Australian Consumer Law. They protect consumers from businesses that make promises they do not intend to keep.
Consumers today have a range of choices from the products available to them. To make their product stand out from their competitors, businesses might make promises to their potential customers about their product. Although this might generate sales, businesses must honour these promises. This is because these additional promises are known as express warranties.
Express warranties are an important part of Australian Consumer Law. They protect consumers from businesses that make promises that they do not intend to keep. Keep reading to find out more about these express warranties.
What are Warranties?
A warranty is a voluntary promise that a person or business gives when they sell a product or service to a consumer. This promise could be to place or repair the product if it develops a fault within a particular time frame.
A warranty is enforced when a product or service is purchased. This is a right guaranteed under Australian Consumer Law.
An express warranty is an extra promise about the quality, condition, performance or characteristic about the good or service provided. Essentially, it is a guarantee that the product will meet a certain level of quality, and if it fails to do so, the business will replace the product or service with no charge.
An example of an express warranty is, “Our product will work perfectly for a least three years” or “Our product is completely waterproof”.
Express warranties can take many different forms, including verbal or written formats. They are usually printed on a product’s packaging or made available as an option. However, verbal express warranties can be as simple as a car dealer telling a customer, “I guarantee the engine will last 50,000 more kilometres.” If the car fails to do so, the customer may take this up with the car dealer. Notably, it is difficult to prove the existence of a verbal warranty, so a written express warranty is preferable.
Express Warranties and Consumer Guarantees
Regardless of whether an express warranty is provided, consumers have specific rights provided under the Australian Consumer Law. This law guarantees that all goods:
- Are of an acceptable quality
- Match the product description
- Fit for disclosed purpose
- Come with full possession
Services, on the other hand will be:
- Provided with due care and skill;
- Completed within a reasonable time; and
- fFit for the disclosed purpose.
Notably, express warranties do not limit, override or exclude these aforementioned consumer guarantees. A business that chooses to make an express warranty must still meet these legal obligations under the Australian Consumer Law.
The Importance of Express Warranties
Express warranties are important because they ensure that consumers are able to make informed decisions about the marketplace where they are purchasing their goods or service. It is important that they are able to rely on the representations made to them by businesses. Further, they protect consumers by preventing businesses from garnering sales with claims that they have no intention of honoring.
If the business does not honor these claims, the consumer can claim remedies. For a good, if the product does not meet consumer guarantees and/or the express warrant, the remedies you can seek from the business include repair, replacement, or refund, as well as compensation for damages and loss. For a service, remedies may include cancelling the service and also compensation for damages and loss.
Express warranties are a useful tactic to entice customers to purchase business goods and services. However, Australian Consumer Law protects consumers from businesses that do not intend to honour these promises. Thus, businesses must understand the implications that may occur if they do not honour these promises.
Daniel is a Legal Tech Intern at Lawpath. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce at Macquarie University. His primary interests are in commercial law, specifically in the areas of technology, intellectual property and media law.