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CONSUMER COUNCIL WELCOMES CHOICE, INFORMATION AND TIME ON EXTENDED WARRANTIES

<p>The General Consumer Council today welcomed the Competition Commission’s recommendations on changes to extended warranties on electrical goods.</p>

The recommendations mean that consumers can make the decision to buy an extended warranty away from the pressure of the sales desk. They will also be able to choose from a range of providers. The terms and conditions of the warranties will be made clearer and importantly, consumers will be able to cancel a warranty and replace it with another one that suits them better. The Government hopes to have the changes in place by summer 2004.

 

Alan Walker, Head of Consumer Affairs at the Council said:

 

“We are pleased to see these recommendations accepted by Government. Quite often, warranties can work out more expensive than repairs. These changes will give choice back to consumers and allow them to shop around for the best deal, rather than feeling pressurised into the one put to them at the till.”

 

ENDS

 

1. General Consumer Council media contact: Susie Brown, telephone, 028 9067 4807 or e-mail, susie.brown@gccni.org.uk

 

2. To achieve these aims the Competition Commission recommended that retailers are required to:

 • Display the price of an applicable extended warranty alongside a domestic electrical good, in store and in press advertisements and other publicity;

• Provide a standard information leaflet setting out information on statutory rights, on the availability of extended warranties from other organisations, on cancellation rights and whether the extended warranty is backed by insurance;

• Give improved cancellation and termination rights: to cancel an extended warrant with a full refund within 45 days from purchase (if no claim has been made); to terminate an extended warranty and obtain a pro-rata monetary refund at any time; and to be given a written postal reminder of the right to cancel or terminate; and

 • Give a written quotation in a standard format stating that the extended warranty remained available for 30 days after purchase of an electrical good on the same terms (including any discount offered on the domestic electrical good price).

 

3. The General Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland’s consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about electricity, natural gas, coal and passenger transport.

 

4. For more information, visit our website at www.gccni.org.uk