Shops get extended warranty rights wrongHigh street shop staff ignore warranty sales rules

18 December 2008

These useful contacts will help you with your used car queries

These useful contacts will help you with your used car queries

Sales staff in high street shops are giving wrong information about extended warranties sold alongside new products, says visited 20 high street stores and found that only seven followed all the rules governing the sale of extended warranties.

You can find out the rules shops have to abide by when selling extended warranties in our .

Poor extended warranty advice

Seven out of 20 shops gave wrong advice about the customer's right to cancel a warranty. Customers have 45 days to cancel, but was given a range of responses, from no right to cancel because ‘there’s a lot of paperwork’ to the wrong number of days.

The list price and length of an extended warranty should be advertised next to the product it relates to, which four shops failed to do. Five stores also failed to give a written quote with one telling our researcher: 'All I can do is tell you it’s £139.’

Last year, Which? found some unnecessary extended warranties that cost half the price of the product itself and the Office of Fair Trading found similar poor practices among high street shops earlier this year.

Find out more about your rights with extended warranties in our guide

Reliable home appliances

Shoppers often take out extended warranties when they buy new products thinking they will be protected if the product breaks down, but Which?’s latest product reliability survey shows that modern domestic appliances are reasonably reliable, so people are usually better off saving their money.

If you're looking for reliable products for your home, you'll find Which? Best Buys and details of brands to avoid in our reviews area, including Which? Best Buy washing machines, LCD and plasma TV, and digital cameras. 

Jess Ross, editor of, says: 'People should think twice before buying an extended warranty when they buy products this Christmas. In many cases extended warranties are a waste of money, and those consumers who really want one will find much better deals by shopping around rather than simply taking what they're offered in store.

'Retailers clearly need to spend more time training their staff to make sure they're getting their facts right.'

RSS feeds

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the . If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: . Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds