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4 Oct 2013

John Lewis to offer two-year electricals guarantee

Retailer wants to clear up warranties 'confusion'
John Lewis

John Lewis says it wants to clear up 'consumer confusion' in the extended warranties market by offering standard two-year protection on all products.

The retailer announced today that it will become the first high street retailer to offer a minimum two-year extended warranty on all home electrical products at no extra cost.

From 10 October all electricals and home technology products bought at John Lewis will get two years of protection against faults and breakdown. The retaileralready offers such protection on computers, tablets and domestic appliances, while TVs get five years.

If you're currently looking for technology products, you can read our latest reviews on Which? Technology.

Lack of extended warranties transparency

Under the new scheme, over a third of electrical products at John Lewis that previously didn't have a minimum two-year free warranty will get one, including games consoles, cameras, audio equipment and small appliances.

John Lewis buying director for electricals and home technology, Ed Connolly, said that a 'lack of transparency' around warranties and guarantees had left consumers 'confused':

'We're making it our mission to bring the John Lewis level of excellence and trust to electricals guarantees, which is why we're introducing a minimum two-year guarantee on all our products at no extra cost.'

John Lewis to fix faults but not accidents

The two-year guarantee covers products against any manufacturing defects that cause them to break. John Lewis will try to fix the fault or replace the product if it can't.

However, the policy does not cover accidental damage or anything deemed to be down to 'misuse'. So, if you tip a cup of coffee over your tablet, John Lewis won't fix it.

If you want accidental damage cover, you may be tempted to upgrade your protection to a paid-for extended warranty.

However, Which? believes that paid-for warranties are rarely good value and you may be able to get cheaper cover elsewhere, such as from your home insurance provider.

Which? investigates extended warranties

Earlier in the year, Which? ran a major extended warranties investigation of five high street retailers, including John Lewis, and found that on some occasions their staff did not giveaccurate information while offering paid-for extended warranty protection on products.

In a statement issued to Which? at the time, John Lewis said: 'We will take this feedback as a prompt to remind all of our selling teams of the importance of providing accurate information and offer refresher training to fill in any gaps in their knowledge.'

John Lewis offers warranties that are underwritten by a major insurance company, so you're protected if it goes bust and can complain if things go wrong. However, other warranties offer no such protection.

We want all extended warranties, paid-for guarantees and service/care plans to be fully underwritten insurance policies under the remit of the financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority. This would give you real peace of mind should you buy one.

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