Should you buy extended product warranties?

by | 10 Nov 2021 | Business Law

Many New Zealand retail stores sell extended warranties for products which you buy. What many people don’t know is that it is not necessary to buy extended warranties under New Zealand consumer law.

The Consumer Guarantees act states that all products sold in New Zealand must be of acceptable quality. A product of acceptable quality is defined as something that is “durable”. However, the word “durable” is not defined, therefore, there is no explicit limit to the length of time a product must remain defect free.

For example, I would argue that a high end electronics product should not break for at least 3 years. Therefore, it is not necessary to spend the money to extend the warranty period to 3 years, because the product should endure for 3 years at the very minimum.

If the retailer refuses to replace the defective product, then you simply lodge a claim with the disputes tribunal. For a small application fee, the disputes tribunal will hear cases for products that is worth $30,000 or less. At the hearing, you will have a good chance of convincing the referee that the product is not of acceptable quality and durability.

In reality, it is likely you will not even need a hearing. This is because when large retailers receive notification from the Disputes Tribunal, it is cheaper for the retailer to replace your defective product straight away, rather than incur the legal cost of trying to defend your case. Chances are, just starting a claim with the Disputes Tribunal is sufficient to force the retailer to replace the defective product.

Speak to us at Capstone Law if you have any questions about commercial disputes in New Zealand, we would be happy to assist you.

Kenneth Sun

Kenneth Sun

Partner & CEO

Kenneth is the founding partner of Capstone Law.  Kenneth has a MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and he was also awarded the prestigious Dean’s Academic Achievement Award for graduating from the University of Auckland law school in the top 5% of his class. Kenneth has worked at some of the best law firms in the country before starting Capstone Law.


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