Home For Public Appliance Exchanges

In general retailers, manufacturers and insurers will not exchange appliances unless there is absolutely no other alternative. It is also important to bear in mind that no responsible retailer or manufacturer wants to have unhappy customers and that they will, in our experience, to their level best to get the best result possible wherever that is at all possible.

It is important to stress that there is no right to the automatic replacement of an appliance within the warranty period, it is entirely at the discretion of the retailer and/or manufacturer to agree to replace a product. The exception to this is where a retailer offers, as part of the contract of sale, the right to an exchange product usually for a set period of time.

Repairers, for warranty and extended warranty repairs, will have virtually no say or influence on whether or not an appliance is exchanged as they are only employed to repair the products

In the unlikely event that an appliance requires to be replaced within warranty, which is an unusual occurrence, it may take some days to complete such a request due to the system that most of the industry operates within. This is not normally a simple or straightforward process.

  • Service call made
  • Report sent to manufacturer/insurer
  • Decision taken on course of action
  • Exchange request authorised or denied
  • If authorised:
  • Notification sent to transportation company
  • Notification sent to repairer (call closed)
  • Notification sent regarding installation or retailer for onward delivery
  • Appliance dispatched from central warehouse
  • Appliance delivered and inspected for damage
  • Delivery and removal agreed

As you can appreciate doing all of the above and communicating with all the various parties involved can lead to a somewhat cumbersome process that, in the main, is not quick. A typical exchange will take between one and three weeks to complete and, in many cases, a repair to the product in situ will be the faster option.

It is also fair to say that this process is very expensive. Sometimes the cost of actually organising an exchange on an appliance can be considerably greater than the cost of the machine itself. It is therefore the very last option for most manufacturers and retailers.

As you can appreciate doing all of the above and communicating with all the various parties involved can lead to a somewhat cumbersome process that, in the main, is not quick. A typical exchange will take between one and three weeks to complete and, in many cases, a repair to the product in situ will be the faster option.

It is however important to stress that, beyond the initial service call and subsequent report, the appliance repairers have little to do with the process of product replacement and no influence on any decision

Requesting Product Exchanges

You can request for a faulty product to be exchanged however, as stated previously, it is not the norm to exchange products. Mainly this is due to the expense of doing so as it is a very costly process.

Should you wish to request a new appliance you should firstly contact the retailer if the product is within the manufacturer's warranty period with your request and reasons for the product to be exchanged. It is the retailer's responsibility in law as your contract is with them.

You can also ask the manufacturer if they would consider authorising and exchange but they often will have no legal obligation to do so as such.

Unless there is a serious problem or a very lengthy delay in service running to many weeks at least, most requests for exchange are unlikely to be approved.

Retailers and manufacturers are allowed to make compensation less the use of the product that you have had, this is known as recision.

There is no requirement for them to replace a product totally free of charge unless it is stated in your contract of sale.

Your warranty, if the product is replaced without charge, will run from your original date of purchase, the warranty does not reset.

There is normally no automatic right to compensation from loss of use or consequential damage.

Extended Warranty

Where the product is covered by a manufacturer's own extended warranty the system is as above other than the effects of depreciation can be much more severe.

Where a third party insurer or suchlike covers the warranty there is, unless stipulated in your policy or conditions of agreement, no automatic right to have the product replaced

Where a product is "written off" or deemed to be beyond economical repair (BER) many insurance products do not offer the right to a new appliance. Like car insurance they will offer an amount to be repaid to the policyholder based on the age of the machine and its original value. However, some policies do offer "new for old" but usually only up until the product is five years old, beyond this time a token contribution is the norm.

Although not exhaustive, the reasons for an exchange on an extended warranty would include:

  • Appliance deemed to be BER
  • Spare parts not or no longer available
  • Lengthy delay in obtaining spare parts, in terms of weeks and months

If none of these basic criteria are met then an exchange or the appliance being written off is highly unlikely.

How Can The Trade Association Help?

There is very little that we, as a trade association, can do to help a member of the public have an appliance exchanged as it is entirely at the discretion of the retailer and manufacturer.

We would advise that you should work with the retailer and manufacturer towards a satisfactory resolution to your issue and that, if required, you should contact your local Trading Standards office where appropriate for further assistance.

Where WTA members sell appliances they are expected to operate within the legislation and also current trading guidelines. Where a problem arises they are expected to work with their customer as well as the manufacturer in order to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.

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