Does your extended warranty offer any real benefit?
QUEENSLAND'S Attorney-General has urged Christmas shoppers to tread with caution when considering forking out for an extended warranty on expensive items.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said while most consumers are familiar with extended warranty offers, many did not realise they were often unnecessary.
"Queenslanders need to be aware coming into Christmas that goods must be of acceptable quality and durability, regardless of any warranty," Mr Bleijie said.
"Many of us agree to an extended warranty when buying an expensive item, but you shouldn't have to buy one to cover you for the time the product should last anyway."
Mr Bleijie said consumers were automatically entitled to 'consumer guarantees' on any goods and services they bought, to ensure they received what they paid for. This means that the consumer's protection could exceed the nominated warranty period if there is a manufacturing fault.
"The simplest way to work this out is to consider the type of product, its quality and price and make a judgement for yourself on how long you would reasonably expect it to last," he said.
"That's how long your consumer guarantee rights apply for, and you don't need to duplicate that cover with an extended warranty.
"The key is not to pay for anything that is already your legal right and carefully consider the real value of any extended warranty you are offered.
"Telling a customer they need to buy an extended warranty to be covered after the manufacturer's warranty ends is simply untrue and retailers can face significant penalties if they are found to be giving misleading information to consumers about their warranty rights.
"An extended warranty can be valuable if it offers longer or better cover and the price is right, but it is important customers are aware of their rights so they can make an informed decision."
For more information, or if a consumer believes a business has been misleading when advertising or selling an extended warranty, they can make a complaint online or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).