Faulty goods? How to deal with Out-of-Warranty products

Views 6 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this Guide is helpful

Faulty goods. Expired warranty? No worries!

Got a product thats broken apart or simply fizzled out just after your warranty expires?
Why should you pay good money for items that can't even last for 2 years?
Remember when things used to last for years and years, maybe you still use a kettle from 30 years ago!
These days its all cheap and nasty parts, labour and no true craftsmanship, even with the more expensive quality brands.
In fact, these days you can't even get an extended warranty on these products, because the retailers know they're junk!

So what do you do if your recently out-of-warranty kettle melts itself, your oven door falls off, or your toaster comes down with a bad case of "no-pop" syndrome?

The Guide:

Step 1) Find your Receipt! If you can't do this then I'm afraid this won't work, you're stuck with your piece of junk forever.

Step 2) If possible find original boxes and/or paperwork

Step 3) Visit the retailer you bought the product from, if practical, take the product in with you.

TIP: To make your case more persuasive, visit the store when they have something you need or would like to buy. Visit the store as you normally would and get to the "breaking point" of the sale, explain you are keen to go ahead with the sale, but need a few moments to think about it.
This will act as leverage later on.

Step 4) Start at the bottom. Find a keen and enthusiastic low level employee. Explain the product's problem, demonstrate if possible. If you don't mind being a little dishonest, claim the fault first appeared within the warranty period, but you only recently found the receipt. This is even easier if it's true!

Critical note: BE PLEASANT, in fact, be OVERLY PLEASANT, but not abnoxious, and EXTREMELY PATIENT.
Do NOT get angry/frustrated/rude/painful.
Remember, the warranty is ended, they are not at fault.
You are trying to bend the rules, don't irritate people.

Step 5) Show them the receipt, they may send you to a customer service desk, follow the instructions.

At this point one of two things can happen, you may find a sympathetic ear and the problem will be reported to the top, and your out of warranty product may be credited or replaced on the spot, this is rare, but does happen!

Otherwise you will probably receive a well rehearsed monologue on warranties and manufacturers, and eventually be given the manufacturer's phone number in another state to call at your expense. If this is the case, please read on:

Step 7) Once you've been given the run around and told the product is no longer covered by warranty and there is nothing they can do, this is when you start working your way to the top.

Step 8) Ask to see the current staff's supervisor.

Step 9) Re-explain the problem to the next level up, remember to remain pleasant, even though you sound like a broken record. Don't get narky!

Step 10) If nothing new comes from this, or the supervisor claims they don't have the power to exchange or credit the product, it's time to bring out the big guns. Tell them you've actually come here looking at buying a few hundred/thousand dollars worth of goods, and you thought you'd bring the faulty product to see if anything could be done. Explain what the goods you are looking to buy are, and who showed them to you.

Step 11) Explain that you would be more inclined to continue the deal here if you received a bit more help with the faulty product, which you paid the store good money for, tell the how long you've been buying goods here, and you've expected it to last for more than one year!

The best part is once they've agreed to credit/replace/exchange your product, you don't have to buy anything!
But it's probably fairer on the retailer if you do...

Step 12) Still not budging? Well don't give up yet, keep on moving up! Ask to see "The Boss".

Step 13) The clerk/supervisor will probably explain things to the boss, then he/she will turn to you to re-affirm the store policy.
Now it's time to talk turkey. Explain what's wrong with the product if you haven't already, then tell the boss you won't be buying the new Television / Washing machine / Vaccuum cleaner / Home theatre system unless this faulty product "I bought in confidence from you" is replaced.

Usually the loss of a substantial sale is powerfully persuasive for a business owner, expecially if it is more substantial than the value of the faulty product. The business can always take its own time and wrestle with the manufacturer for a refund, but he can't sell them whitegoods!

If all this fails, then I would probably avoid buying from the store in future.

Step 14) Your next course of action is the manufacturer. It's basically the same principal, just keep working your way up the ladder. Be firm, persistant, but never negative and always grateful, thank EVERYONE for they're help or even attempted help. Nobody will want to deal with a whinging customer, especially when you havn't got a leg to stand on in a legal sense.

My Advice: Be charming, polite and patient. Using this technique I replaced an item more than one year out-of-warranty, and walked away with an even better replacement. Good luck!
Have something to share, create your own Guide... Write a Guide
Explore more Guides