- Published: Tuesday, 18 May 2010 11:37
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Manufacturer and extended warranties are often assumed to be all encompassing when they are most often not, there are many things that are not covered by warranty and, where this is the case the position is that the owner must pay for the services of the engineer.
It is therefore important that you consult the instruction booklet, the manufacturer and the service engineer before a call is made and ensure that the fault that you are reporting is covered by the warranty.
Most warranties or insurance products will cover the following:
- Electrical component failure within the appliance
- Mechanical component failure within the appliance not caused by foreign objects or improper use
Just like warranties on cars and many other primarily mechanical devices almost any other fault or failure is excluded from being covered by the warranty.
The common exceptions that are not often made clear include the following:
- Improper use
- Failure to clean or maintain the product in accordance with instruction
- Poor or faulty installation
- Poor or faulty drainage
- Poor or faulty services
- Physical damage
- Damage caused by foreign objects
- Faults caused by poor quality detergents etc.
There are in fact many supposed "faults" that are not actually a fault of the product due to the quality or workmanship in the appliance but a great many supposed "faults" are down to the use or installation of the machine. Where this is the case it is down to the owner and not the manufacturer or insurer, to pay for service visit/s where the actual appliance is not at fault.
In order to highlight the importance that you do check before calling an engineer out our statistics show that in some cases over 90% of reported or suspected faults are down to use, installation or misunderstanding on the part of the user.
The repair companies do not get paid for delivering this service by manufacturers or insurers and they are therefore left with no choice but to charge you, the end user. Failure or refusal to pay the charges will often affect only the independent repairer, not the manufacturer or insurer.
Most Common Non-Faults
We have detailed the most common reported "faults" that are not actually failures with the appliance by sector as follows and these are the top things to check for before calling an engineer to resolve the issue. Do remember however that, should the engineer find that the cause is not due to electrical or mechanical failure they will have no choice but to charge you for the service as the manufacturer or insurer will refuse to pay for such services.
- Will not drain: blockage in pump, filter or drainage system
- Bad smell : detergent use or backfilling
- Machine fills up when off : backfilling
- Machine won't spin: imbalanced load
- Machine foams up: poor quality, overdosing or incorrect detergent
- Machine leaks from soap drawer: water pressure too high, incorrect, overdosing or poor quality detergent
- Drum paddles broken: washing inappropriate items, e.g. Trainers
- Rattling noises: items in pump
- Poor wash results: incorrect or incorrect use of detergent and programs
- Takes too long to wash: no fault if cycle completes
- Wash timer display changes: no fault, machine calculates ETA times on the fly dependent on conditions
- Bouncing about: incorrect installation or unsuitable flooring
- Poor wash results: blocked filter, spray arms blocked, improper loading
- Will not drain : blockage in pump, filter or drainage system
- Bad smell : detergent use, failure to clean or backfilling
- Dead: timer on automatic mode, voltage links not correctly configured on installation
- Smoke from oven: failure to clean
- Cupboards either side burning/discolouring: improper installation, no air gap
- Overheating/cutting out from new : improper installation, poor venting
- Knobs get too hot : no fault, see BSI standards and guidance notes
- Gas leak on new hob : improper installation, malleable joint not tightened correctly
- Only 1/2/3 rings work: voltage links not correctly configured on installation
- Chrome rings discolouring: normal operation, no fault
- Poor extraction: hob not specified correctly for use, improper or poor installation
- Noisy: improper or poor installation
Fridges, Freezers And Fridge Freezers
- Noisy: normal operation, improper installation
- Ice in integrated units after a few months use: improper installation
- Heat from doors: normal operation, integrated: improper installation
- Doors not closing correctly : improper installation, levelling
- No water to ice/water: check services
- Not drying: check filters, condenser unit (where fitted) and all ventilation is clear
As you can see there are a myriad of issues that can arise that would not be covered by warranty and, these are only the most common of these types of "faults" that we see on a very generalised and non-brand specific basis. Many manufacturers products will have issues that affect them uniquely and will not be shown on the list above so please do refer to your instruction booklet before calling for assistance.
Failure to check these issues in advance will almost certainly result in you receiving a bill for the call!
Ignorance or claimed ignorance of the problem will not stop you from receiving a bill for the call.
What If I Do Not Accept This?
If you have an instance where the call was made, the engineer has attended the appliance and found that the damage or problem has been caused by anything other than what is specifically covered by warranty then you are legally obliged to pay for the engineer's time.<.p>
It is viewed that you have called an expert to resolve the issue that you have and, if the problem is caused by an electrical or mechanical component failure then the manufacturer will pay for the service. If the problem or issue is not caused by a component failure then the chances are that it is not covered by warranty but that you still have requested an engineer to resolve the issue or, to offer a solution to the problem and for that you must pay for the service that you have requested.
If you then refuse to pay the repairer for his time then you are at fault and the repairer can, ultimately, pursue payment through the legal system in order to recoup his costs for the initial call as well as any costs incurred in pursuing payment. Given the fact that the costs of pursuing payments in this way can be many times the cost of the call charges we do recommend that the charges are paid as quickly as possible in order to avoid additional charges.
Sadly a refusal to pay for such services can also result in:
- Denial of further warranty service
- Denial of further service on other brands, even in warranty
- Denial of service out of warranty
- Denial of service under extended warranty
- Denial of service from other local repairers
Depending on the situation and service agent or manufacturer and insurer any or all of the above are possible. It is very common that a repairer is an appointed agent in the territory for many manufacturers and it is entirely within their remit to deny all service, even to products within warranty, to people who they feel will not pay for their services.
The reason for this is very simple, if someone has refused to pay for a call like this in the past then the chances are that, should the same situation be encountered once again, then there is a strong possibility that the repairer would not be paid again.
In most instances it is better to pay the repairer and argue the case with the manufacturer or insurer as to why you should not have to pay for the repairer's service.
There are also several insurance products that cover for such instances, including many household insurance policies which will also cover for accidental damage. If you find yourself with a machine beyond repair or, not economical to repair, you may find that you can claim your household insurance to not only cover the cost of any visits made but also for any repairs or even a replacement appliance.
How Can The Trade Association Help?
We can, when emailed a scan of a WTA registered engineer's worksheet often be able to confirm whether or not a particular fault would or would not normally be covered by warranty. Please first of all read the above carefully, if any of these faults listed are the cause then the answer is no, it is not covered by warranty.
If the cause is anything other than a mechanical or electrical failure, it is not covered by warranty.
If the cause is anything to do with detergents, foreign object or cleaning, it is not covered by warranty.
Or by post to:
Whitegoods Trade Association
Bonnyton Industrial Estate
Unfortunately, we can only offer advice and assistance if your repairer is a WTA member due to the Code Of Practice they adhere to. If your repairer is not a WTA member we are unable to assist due to this.