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One in five Australians don’t realise buying an extended warranty is a waste of money


One in five Australians are still paying for extended warranties on items, including electrical products, despite already having the existing protection offered by rights through Australian Consumer Law, according to consumer watchdog Choice.

An extended warranty over and above the typical one-year warranty period is a common upsell from retailers on products that cost more than $1000 including TVs and appliances.

A Choice survey found 18 per cent of consumers were still spending money they didn’t need to spend on extended warranties even though they already had the protection of Australian Consumer Law.

Choice calls extended warranties a total waste of money.

“Don’t waste your money on an extended warranty,” says Julia Steward, Consumer Rights Expert at Choice.

“Many extended warranties largely replicate or underplay your existing rights under the Australian Consumer Law.

“They’re a sales trick to squeeze more money out of you that ignore your  existing rights under the law.

“If someone tries to push an extended warranty on you, ask them ‘what does this give me beyond the Australian Consumer Law’.”

Under Australian Consumer Law, a customer who spend $3000 on a TV, for example, has a “reasonable expectation” that it will operate properly well after the traditional 12-month warranty period.

So if something goes wrong two, three and even four years after your purchase, Australian Consumer Law will support a customer if there is a fault or issue.

“Remember, your rights are often longer and more comprehensive than what you receive from a warranty,” says Choice’s Steward.

“Your rights aren’t one-size-fits-all. Under the law, the products you buy should be eligible for refund, replacement or repair depending on the expected lifespan of the product.

Not what the company says the warranty is.”

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