Know your rights
At the time you buy your extended warranty, the retailer must give you a written agreement that is clear and easy to understand with:
- a summary of your rights under the CGA compared to the extra rights you’ll get under the extended warranty
- your right to cancel within five working days if you change your mind, and how to cancel
- the warrantor’s name, street address, telephone number, and email address.
Other terms that must be set out include the:
- rights and obligations of the business providing the extended warranty (sometimes it’s the retailer, sometimes it’s another business)
- date the agreement starts, duration and expiry date
- total price you’ll pay over the full period of the agreement.
See Extended warranties (external link) on the Commerce Commission’s website for more information.
The warrantor should also tell you about the right to cancel the agreement within five working days of receiving a copy of it and explain how to go about cancelling it.
You can also cancel at any time if the warrantor has not met all of its disclosure obligations described above.
You must give notice to the warrantor (verbally or in writing) that you wish to cancel. You must use the contact details the warrantor provided under the written disclosure, or in any other way that the warrantor and you agree you can communicate. Once the agreement has been cancelled, the warrantor must repay the cost of the warranty to you without making any deductions from the amount paid.
If there is a minor breach of the disclosure rules and you are no worse off, you can’t cancel after the five-day period.
Manufacturers’ guarantees under the Consumer Guarantees Act
Under the CGA, manufacturers and importers also guarantee that:
- spare parts and repair facilities will be available for a reasonable time (including second-hand products from overseas that are first supplied to you in New Zealand)
- they will honour any express manufacturer’s written warranty that comes with their products
- the products are of acceptable quality
- the products match any description given (labelling or packaging).
Even if the warranty has expired, the manufacturer will still be responsible if the products are faulty and not of acceptable quality for products of that type.
But, the manufacturer can contract out of the part of the guarantee that covers the availability of spare parts. To do this, they must let you know via the supplier at the time of purchase that repair facilities and spare parts are not available.
The manufacturer is also not liable if the problem is caused by someone other than the manufacturer or their agent, or by an event outside their control, such as an earthquake.
Manufacturer’s warranty or express guarantee
A manufacturer does not have to provide a written warranty (express guarantee) with their products. But if they do, they must provide what is set out in their warranty under the CGA. This can be useful when you buy products privately and they are still under the manufacturer’s warranty. You can claim a remedy from the manufacturer if you get the warranty and original receipt from the private seller.
If you have an express guarantee from the manufacturer, you must give them the opportunity to fix the problem first, such as by doing repairs or providing an identical replacement (according to what the guarantee sets out). If they fail to do so or refuse to do so, you may bring a claim for damages from the manufacturer, under the CGA, for any drop in the value of the products and the price paid by you or the average retail price at the time of supply (whichever is lower).
You will need to check the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty carefully to see who pays for freight on the return of products and what other terms apply to any claim.
If the manufacturer or importer has gone out of business, a supplier does not need to meet the responsibilities set out in the written manufacturer’s warranty. However, you still have rights against the supplier for any problems with consumer products or services.