Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
The whole point of purchasing a warranty or buying a product with a good warranty is peace of mind, and the assurance that the product will be fixed or repairs if it fails to work. However, warranty complaints are not uncommon, and it is helpful to know how to handle them. By knowing what to do from the start, consumers can usually ensure better results when they start to escalate a warranty complaint.
Before complaining about a warranty, it is a good idea to read the fine print. If a business or manufacturer refuses to honor a warranty, it should provide a reason, and consumers should be able to look that reason up in the text of the warranty. For example, many companies consider warranties void if consumers open the product up and attempt to repair it themselves, or when substantial modifications are made to the original product. If an inspection of the warranty suggests that it should still be valid, it's time to escalate.
The first step is a formal complaint to the retailer or manufacturer which refuses to honor the warranty, along with a complaint to the retailer who sold the warranty. Sometimes, this is enough, especially if a consumer indicates that he or she will escalate the complaint if the issue is not resolved. Warranty complaints can also be taken directly to the manufacturer. Many manufacturers are actually happy to repair or replace broken products as an act of customer relations, and they may work with consumers to resolve warranty complaints.
If these measures don't work, it's time to bring up some more aggressive approaches to warranty complaints, starting with the Better Business Bureau. Many nations have a Better Business Bureau or consumer advocacy agency which can help to resolve various service complaints, and businesses are often happy to work with agencies like these to avoid bad ratings. There may also be specific laws in place such as lemon laws for cars which can be brought to bear on a warranty complaint.
In the United States, the State Attorney General is another good source for resolution, as he or she can assist consumers. Some states even have warranty complaint hotlines for their citizens. Similar agencies can also be found in some other regions of the world. Escalating to the national government is also an option, although the government can be slow to respond to individual consumers.
Warranty complaints can sometimes be resolved with a lawsuit, but the process is expensive and time consuming. This is generally only recommended when multiple people have similar issues, which can be used as a basis for a class action lawsuit.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!