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What is a Full Warranty?

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  • Written By: Charity Delich
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Image By: Mike
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2016
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A full warranty is a type of guarantee that is usually given on a consumer product, such as a washing machine, car, piano, or computer. In general, it guarantees that the product will perform in a certain way. If the product is found defective, the warranty completely covers any costs associated with the repair or replacement of the product. In other words, the consumer is not required to pay for fixing a defective item as long as the item is still covered by a full warranty.

Usually, a full warranty is offered by the manufacturer of a product, although retail stores occasionally offer short-term warranties beyond what the manufacturer is offering. Some credit card companies also offer warranties on items that are purchased using one of their cards. This type of warranty generally kicks in only after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. A company offering a full warranty usually specifies that it will last for a set period of time, such as one year. After the expiration of this time period, the company is no longer obligated to fix the item.

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If a product becomes defective during the warranty period, the product owner can demand that it be repaired or replaced by the warrantor. Under laws in many jurisdictions, the warrantor must fix or exchange the product within a reasonable amount of time. In addition, the warrantor must make it reasonably convenient for the product owner to bring in or ship the item to be fixed.

A full warranty is distinct from a limited warranty, which covers something less than the full repair or replacement cost of the product. In general, limited warranties are more frequently offered by manufacturers than full warranties. Limited warranties vary greatly in scope, and consumers must carefully read the specific terms of each warranty to determine what it covers. For example, some limited warranties cover the cost of replacing parts only and make the consumer responsible for paying labor costs. Others may split repair and labor costs with the consumer.

In some jurisdictions, manufacturers must clearly designate whether a full or limited warranty is being offered on a product. The disclosure generally needs to be written so that it is easy to understand, and it must provide all of the terms, conditions, and limitations applying to the warranty. In addition, it normally needs to explain what the warranty is guaranteeing, such as whether the product will perform in a certain manner.

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