Centre urges manufacturers of white goods to start warranty period from date of installation
By TIOL News Service
NEW DELHI, NOV 10, 2023: THE Department of Consumer Affairs has urged manufacturers and sellers of white goods to revise the warranty or guarantee policy to reflect its commencement from the date of installation rather than the date of purchase.
In a letter addressed to industry and retail associations and manufacturers of white goods, Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs has strongly advised manufacturers of white goods such as such as refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines etc. revise the warranty or guarantee policy in the sale of white goods to consumers, to reflect its commencement from the date of installation rather than the date of purchase.
White goods typically involve installation by trained technicians, and until they are correctly installed on the premises, consumers are unable to use such goods. It is observed that this practice leads to a reduction in the total warranty period which a consumer would have normally enjoyed from the time he could use the product after its installation. This issue is further accentuated in case of purchases made through e-commerce where an additional time is involved in the delivery of the product.
Initiating the warranty or guarantee period when consumers are unable to use the product constitutes an unfair trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 and a contract imposing such terms which causes significant change in the rights of consumer is an unfair contract under the Act
The letter highlights the importance of strengthening the trust between businesses and consumers, emphasized by the Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Business 20 (B20) Summit India 2023 held in New Delhi on 27.08.2023. During the Summit, Hon'ble PM called on businesses to shift their focus to 'consumer care', which will enable automatic resolution of many issues related to consumer rights. He emphasized that a profitable market can be sustained when there is a balance in the interests of producers and consumers
As the festive season begins, there will be a concomitant increase in consumer footfalls in the market, which means a bustling period for businesses. In such a period, it is important to ensure that the message of consumer care envisaged by the Hon'ble PM is kept in mind by businesses so that consumers' interests are protected and safeguarded during their festive purchases.