IN YOUR CORNER
The cold truth about new geysers’ warranties
If a replacement geyser gives trouble after a few months, why should the consumer have to pay to get it repaired?
I’ve had a flurry of queries about geyser warranties lately.
Nirdosh Kassie wrote: “Chatting to my plumber, he mentioned that a geyser comes with five-year warranty, but if the geyser packs up in four years and 11 months and gets replaced with a new geyser, that replacement geyser inherits the balance of the original geyser’s warranty, which means it only has a one-month warranty.
“But surely a brand-new geyser should be covered by new five-year warranty?” he asked.
“If that new geyser gives trouble after a few months, why should the consumer have to pay to get it repaired or replaced?”
It’s a question I get about all sorts of products replaced under warranty, but mostly geysers.
It is indeed true that a replacement product gets the balance of the warranty remaining on the product it replaced.
This is how former consumer goods and services ombudsman Neville Melville explained it to me a few years ago:
“All a warranty is, is a term to a contract – in this case, that the geyser would work for five years, failing which the company would fix or replace it.
“So the consumer gets what they expected and paid for – the use of a geyser for at least five years.
“If this were not the case, it would potentially be a situation – as one retailer put it to us – that they were compelled to provide shoes for a child throughout his school career because each consecutive pair developed a defect just as it neared the end of its warranty period.”
Put like that, the policy makes sense.
Remember, the only legally mandatory warranty is the six-month warranty automatically given by the terms of the Consumer Protection Act to all products sold in SA.
From the seventh month, any warranty is provided at the discretion of the manufacturer.