Panasonic has changed its extended warranty deals on its VX3 washing machines and Viera TVs after Which? asked it to prove the warranty offer was legal.
Previously, Panasonic’s VX3 washing machines came with a free six year warranty if you bought them within a set three month period. But Which? learned from Panasonic that it intended to repeat the offer in back-to-back three month slots until the end of the range’s life in March 2013.
After Which? asked it to explain how this warranty offer was lawful Panasonic agreed to stop extending the end dates.
Now that Panasonic has amended the date on the warranty form to March 2013, consumers know they do not have to buy the washing machine within a three-month period to qualify for the six-year parts and labour warranty.
Laundry expert Adrian Porter said: ‘we believed Panasonic to be in breach of the law. Though it never should have happened, it is good to see how quickly the offer has been amended’
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Panasonic’s ‘three month’ warranty offers
By not showing the actual end date, we believed that this offer conflicted with the Consumer Protection Regulations, as it might have resulted in consumers being misled and altering their buying habits.
A similar five year offer was available on Viera TVs for purchases made between 1 July and 30 September.
After Which? asked about the warranty deal on these TVs, Panasonic amended the deal to reflect that you can buy a Viera TV anytime before March 2013 and still qualify for the five-year parts and labour warranty.
Panasonic has confirmed that warranty offers on VG3 washing machines, microwaves and fridges are genuinely time limited.
Panasonic responds about warranties
A spokesperson for Panasonic said: ‘following observations by Which? concerning our extension of a promotion, we recognise that there is a possibility of confusion amongst consumers.
We have therefore immediately ceased the practice of extending consumer promotions beyond their end date.’
If you’ve bought or are about to buy a Panasonic product that has a free extended warranty, you must complete the extended warranty form with 30 days of purchase and provide a copy (don’t send the original) of the full purchase receipt.
- For more advice and information on extended warranties, see our extended warranties guide
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