Author Topic: Beware Warranties  (Read 656 times)


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Beware Warranties
« on: June 02, 2018, 12:49:35 PM »
I believe it is fair to say that many of us are believers in honesty and fair play when dealing with sellers of products that we require in our daily lives. Unfortunately in many instances the consumer is being duped by business organisations that intend to sell us anything that generates income without risk or responsibility.

Car parts retailers can fall into this category so it is not only wise to question warranties but in todays world it as become essential.

During my investigation into the purchase of a starter motor for my Carlton it as become obvious that certain companies are reluctant to provide all the information required and requested. Not only is it wise to pursue them for the details but this must be done in a fashion where this information is retained to be used at a future date such as in letters or in emails.

What must be remembered is getting into bother is easy getting out of it is more difficult and more costly which is what Providers are aware of. When the consumer is left in a quandary most of us will baulk at taking on a supplier who generally as more clout than the consumer.

What is the answer you may ask?

Well there is an answer and this will depend upon the stage you the customer is at.

First of all you must read and understand the contract you are entering into. Remember that it is more difficult getting out of a problem than removing the problem at first. So if you don't like what you're reading don't enter into the agreement. At this stage you can query parts of the agreement which you are uncertain of - in writing\email. If they respond by phone ask them to clarify this in writing. 

If they remove any doubt you may have in their written response then this will act to your betterment should there be a need to pursue a claim.

There is legislation in existence which can be very useful to support the consumer which I can point to should there be enough interest in this subject.

Let  me know your thoughts.


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Re: Beware Warranties
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2018, 03:00:59 PM »
I'd like to know how you get on.

I see a lot of things offered with great guarantees and usually assume that the guarantee is worthless and decide whether the purchase is good value without the guarantee.

Sometimes its necessary to dig further though, especially if spending a bit more than necessary just based on the guarantee.

I recently did this, with Halfords and their lifetime guarantee range of car batteries. (read very expensive but worth it for a long term car)

It took a long time to get the answers, I dont think they even knew them, but in the end got the terms in writing.
I then bought the battery at great cost.

Fortunately I know the guarantee terms and inspected the product.
They told me that the guarantee would be invalid if I didnt look after the battery and keep it fully charged.
The battery when I picked it up was very low on charge, on closer inspection it had a recharge by date on that had already passed 6 months ago. Halfords were helpful and I learned that the date on the battery was when it was a year old.
Now that means that my new battery was 18 months old, and had never been charged.

No big deal you might think, I could charge it.
Actually its a big problem, if the battery failed next year and I returned it the 18 months of neglect before I bought it may make it seem like I'd not looked after the battery (apparently it causes sulphation of the plates and they do know its been neglected)
My warranty clim would have been rejected, for an extremely expensive product that hadnt been looked after in the shop.

I told them I would only accept a battery less than a year old.
To cut a long story short they couldnt find one in good condition anywhere and couldnt supply one until they ordered stock from the manufacturer.

Halfords made the decision not to order one, instead deciding that they couldnt maintain these batteries due to low sales volumes meaning they were on the shelf for very long periods. They instead chose to discontinue the batteries because of the warrant implications.

The local store gave me the next level battery down at half price as consolation which I'm happy with, but the moral of the story is indeed to check the terms of the guarantee before you need it.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 03:03:58 PM by chris »


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Re: Beware Warranties
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2018, 01:28:59 PM »
For those that are interested I have taken an extract from the terms and conditions outlined by West Lancs Auto Electrics when I was  looking into purchasing a starter motor from them.

13 Warranty
13.1 Each of the Goods are supplied with the benefit of a warranty given by the Goods’ manufacturers (details of which will be provided to you with the Goods or otherwise on request (“the Warranty”)) provided that you comply with the conditions set out in clause 13.2 as well as any provided with the Warranty (“Warranty Conditions”).
13.2 If Goods become faulty during the period of the Warranty for reasons unconnected with your acts, omissions or misuse of the Goods, you must notify us in writing (including a description of the fault) and return such Goods to us. We will repair (or at our sole option) replace such Goods with the same or superior Goods, without charge, and shall have no further liability to you. If Goods become faulty after expiry of the Warranty, and you request that we replace or repair such Goods, then we shall charge our then standard list price for such repair or replacement.
13.3 Your sole remedy in respect of a failure of the Goods to comply with the Warranty is as set out in the Warranty Conditions.
13.4 We will be afforded reasonable opportunity and facilities to investigate any claims made under the Warranty and you will if so requested in writing by us promptly return any Goods the subject of any claim and any packing materials securely packed and carriage paid to us for examination.
13.5 We will have no liability with regard to any claim in respect of which you have not complied with the claims procedures in the Warranty Conditions.
West Lancs Auto Electrics operates a “no-quibble” warranty procedure on all units whereby a faulty unit will be repaired or replaced Free of Charge. However, this warranty policy is conditional and subject to the following basic conditions:
1. The unit will be considered within the warranty period if it is returned within 18 months for private car owners or 12 months for all other applications, from date of sale or 12,000 miles completed, whichever comes first.
2. The unit has been fitted correctly by a qualified person with the appropriate skills and test equipment.
3. The unit has not been stripped or part-stripped, abused, modified or tampered with in any way.
4. The unit has been fitted to the correct vehicle application
5. If requested by a member of West Lancs Auto Electrics staff, proof of purchase must be provided
6. If requested by a member of West Lancs Auto Electrics staff, proof of mileage and relevant vehicle details must be provided.
7. There are no evident or obvious physical signs for reasons of failure as described in the list below: Ingress of engine oil, water etc. Damaged or broken terminals due to over-tightening or loose connections on fitment Broken fixing brackets, or any sign of accidental damage to any part of the unit. Damaged pinion teeth due to faulty ignition switch, incorrect ring gear / fly wheel. “Burnt out” units, due to faulty ignition switch or relays. Damage, wear and tear due to excessive use. Please note – this is not an exhaustive list, and West Lancs Auto Electrics reserves the right to reject warranty on a returned unit at our discretion.
In the event of dispute, the company’s decision is final.
Incurred Costs
West Lancs Auto Electrics shall not in any way be liable or responsible for consequential loss, damage claims or labour claim liabilities of any kind whatsoever and howsoever arising in respect of products supplied by West Lancs Auto Electrics.


The last four lines of this statement "In the event of dispute, the company's decision is final" are at the very least contraversial if not moreso which triggered me to check the appropriate legislation. The outcome of this is illustrated below:

The fact that West Lancs Auto Electrics reserves the right to reject warranty on a returned unit at our discretion.
In the event of dispute, the company’s decision is final can be construed as an unfair condition of contract.


If you’re a business that deals with consumers, then you need to make sure your terms are fair.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 aims to protect consumers against unfair contract terms and notices.
Contracts can only protect you if your terms are fair. If a term is not fair, it won’t be legally binding on your customer.
Other terms that may be unfair are Terms that give you the ‘right of final decision’.

Therefore given the above I cannot accept that West Lancs Auto Electrics would fulfil their obligations should anything go wrong during the
18 month period of warranty being offerred for the starter motor.

This is but one example shown in the warranty offerred by this company which could prove costly for both parties concerned. A legal case running into at least £100s of pounds (probably much more) would not be a sensible option when the starter motor costs less than a £100. Whilst the Financial Ombudsman could review the case there is no guarantee that the outcome would be entirely to your satisfaction - the Ombudsman are not without their critics. What as been provided is but one example of a contentious clause in the contract, there could well be many more which becomes even more scary considering the possible outcomes.

This is an area which undoubtedly touches all of us in our daily lives whether we recognise this or not and what I'm advocating is that we should become more aware of what we're entering into otherwise there is a strong likelihood that we are going to become a victim when we don't need to.

Hopefully this provides an answer for you Chris.

Should anyone want to throw in their two pennorth I would look forward to reading and/or responding.


Dave the Builder

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Re: Beware Warranties
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 10:44:37 AM »
My 2p worth
It's a starter motor
used working delivered £20
reconditioned ,delivered ,£40 as per my links
your not buying a house or signing your soul over to the devil
buy it, fit it , drive your lovely comfy carlton about and forget about small print on warranty paperwork  ;D
no doubt another more pressing issue will pop up LONG BEFORE you need to worry about the starter motor  :P
If the above post contains spelling mistakes / grammatical errors / poor use of the quote function / a very weak retort, or is generally shyte; it's because I'm feked on a cocktail of drugs,homebrew and carb cleaner.sorry


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Re: Beware Warranties
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 10:53:10 AM »
Thanks for your reply Dave the Builder,

I think you may just have missed the point which are WARRANTIES not starter motors.

I have used starter motors because an example was readily to hand ie. West Lancs Auto Electrics.
Dare I say it your approach is fraught with risk - my scenario to your suggestion is buy it, pay to have it fitted , breaksdown at the most inconvenient time at the most inconvenient place with suspect or no warranty.

Then using your philosophy buy and pay for another starter motor, pay to have it fitted, breaksdown with suspect or no warranty  etc. etc. following the same loop as above.


Forgetting the small print on warranty paperwork is definitely not commendable yet if you wish to pursue that course of action that would be your prerogative but it wouldn't be mine. Chris in his response provides a good example and serves to support the theme of this topic. IMHO the motor trade is abound with illustrations of failing parts before their time. I can personally recall having 3 new coils changed within about a month which can hardly   
be accepted as reasonable. I only paid for the cost of one coil. Then there was the 5 year guarantee battery that broke down within about 4 years. If I hadn't kept the receipt and warranty documents the battery wouldn't have been changed without cost to me, yet it was changed and I didn't have to pay anything.

On the understanding that the subject matter was and is about Warranties the topic is far more reaching than starter motors or parts in the motor industry. What is being discussed here are contracts of all kinds spread across many aspects of our lives. When you buy a tin of beans you are entering into a contract with the seller and when this occurs both parties have obligations that contribute to the contract existing. I did not want to use the buying and selling beans as an example because using the motor vehicle industry would be more applicable to Totalcarlton which is a car enthusiast site.

I am prepared to discuss further in broader terms if necessary.

Thank you once again Dave the Builder for your input.



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Re: Beware Warranties
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2018, 07:23:42 PM »
I hope I'm not boring everyone to bits but this is a topic close to my heart and it is something that possibly could prove useful for other members.

During my life I've had many confrontations with sellers of one kind or another, even to the extent of bringing cases to court. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not quite as successful as I would like them to be but in each instance I've gained experience that's proved beneficial in the long run.

The input to this site as just about dried up and it would be shame to lose all the wealth of info that exists so I am endeavouring to introduce new subject matter to hopefully keep the ball rolling whilst also creating a new slant on matters that touch all of us in one way or another. 


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Re: Beware Warranties
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2018, 07:21:32 PM »
During the writing of this post I entered into an agreement to buy a starter motor from a company in Germany on the basis that the unit was brand new. Much time and effort had been expended looking for a brand new Bosch motor suitable for my Carlton and at last I found one. Due to my reluctance to accept any flip remarks which could be misinterpreted the seller was questioned persistently until he assured me that the starter motor was new (emails).

The starter was paid for but when it was received it was not new so I took issue with the seller through the intermediary handling the transaction. The issue was resolved to my benefit where I was left with the starter motor and I was reimbursed for all my costs.

So at present I am not out of pocket and I now have a free starter motor.

Perhaps this also serves as an example to justify my claim for writing this topic.


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Re: Beware Warranties
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2018, 03:04:42 PM »
Its a very good lesson to confirm things in writing just in case you need the evidence.

Nice work, sellers need to not get away with telling lies and ripping people off.


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Re: Beware Warranties
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2018, 10:40:37 AM »
Thanks for your reply Chris,
I'm not only standing up for myself when I take the approach that I do, I also stand up for all other buyers in similar situations.

Theres been to many times when I've said to myself "I wish I'd done this or I wish I'd done that" to safeguard my interests, well now and for some considerable time I'm taking a more proactive approach and its paying dividends.