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How do I Avoid Warranty Problems?

By Lori Smith
Updated May 17, 2024
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A warranty, usually issued by a product’s manufacturer, is similar to an insurance policy. It typically provides for the repair or replacement of merchandise that malfunctions or otherwise does not perform properly. Many times, a set of guidelines accompany the guarantee. Provisions may include a maintenance or service schedule, an anti-tampering clause, or other specifications about proper use. Failure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions often leads to warranty problems.

Manufacturers will generally outline specific requirements, maintenance schedules, or other warnings for the benefit of consumers. If the buyer does not follow the guidelines as indicated, the guarantee may become void. This usually means that the consumer is then responsible for covering the cost of repair. In some cases, the product needs to be replaced altogether.

Warranty problems generally occur when the consumer does not meet the terms of the contract. When an automobile is purchased, for example, the warranty may be predicated on a number of maintenance requirements. This can include scheduled oil changes, tune-ups, and tire rotation. If an engine fails as a result of a missed oil change, the guarantee may become void and warranty problems often arise as a result.

Certain products, like electronic equipment, usually come with a guarantee as well. If a laptop computer ceases to operate, for example, the consumer may be entitled to file a warranty claim with the manufacturer. Depending on the conditions of the contract, he or she may be required to ship the faulty computer to a specified repair center. If the individual follows the directions given to him, the computer will generally be fixed and shipped back without any issues. If, however, the consumer does not follow the instructions, costly consequences may result.

One possible cause for warranty problems under this scenario is that the purchaser attempts to fix the computer himself. He opens up the device, roots around and tries to assess the problem on his own. When his efforts fail, he packs up the computer and ships it off to the repair center as originally instructed. Upon receipt of the equipment, however, the technician notices that tampering occurred. As a result, the warranty claim may be rejected and the customer is then charged the full cost of the repair, if he chooses to have it fixed.

Another possibility is that the customer decides to have the item repaired locally, instead of sending it to the manufacturer’s repair center as instructed. If this happens, the buyer may be responsible for paying the repair bill on his own. In most cases, he will not be reimbursed. Future claims may be rejected as well. Allowing an unauthorized technician to repair a device can usually cause warranty problems. This is because the manufacturer will generally not guarantee somebody else’s work without prior approval.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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