Tuesday, 19 December 2017 14:34

Belkin to honour lifetime warranties after ACCC action

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The ACCC has accepted a "court-enforceable undertaking from consumer electronics manufacturer Belkin to honour claims under its lifetime warranty policies for the lifetime of the original purchaser".

During 2016 and 2017, the ACCC tells us that "Belkin supplied certain products with a 'lifetime warranty' or 'limited lifetime warranty'."

However, we're told that "Belkin applied a policy of only repairing or replacing products under these warranties within the five years from the date of purchase. A disclaimer was not printed on product packaging but was referred to on Belkin’s website".

Products affected by these “lifetime warranty” claims included wireless routers, switches and cables.

ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said: "Belkin has acknowledged that its lifetime warranty representations may have breached the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct and false or misleading representations about the effect of a warranty or guarantee.

“Manufacturers must ensure consumers are not misled by warranty representations. If a business makes a lifetime warranty claim, they must be very clear about what this means with their customers.”

In addition, the ACCC stated Belkin's admission "that some products with lifetime warranties were likely to be non-compliant with the Australian Consumer Law because they did not include the wording required for use in any warranty against defects".

The ACCC noted Belkin's undertaking "to correct its website and packaging to comply with this requirement," and said "Belkin co-operated with the ACCC’s investigation and has taken steps to resolve the ACCC’s concerns".

A Belkin spokesperson supplied iTWire with the following statement: "Belkin is committed to creating products that are meticulously designed and engineered with the highest standards, certification and compliance guidelines to ensure they are safe, reliable and compatible with a broad range of consumer electronics. As part of this commitment, Belkin offers industry-leading express warranties across its extensive range of products that are additional to the consumer guarantees required by law. 

"Earlier this year, Belkin was made aware of concerns regarding how some of its warranty terms were communicated in Australia. In collaboration with the local consumer regulator, Belkin has undertaken to update its website and packaging to ensure that its express warranty terms are clearly communicated and meet all applicable requirements."

The undertaking is available at the ACCC's website here

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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