Warranty and Guarantee: Basic Explanations for the Nigerian Consumer

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Many at times, when Nigerians want to buy items (usually consumer electronics) they often make their purchasing decision based on the guarantee offered by the seller on the said item. However, when something occurs that requires an exercise the warranty or guarantee, the seller will come up with stories and the helpless consumer is often forced to leave the store in despair.

This piece seeks to explore the subtle differences between warranty and guarantee with a view to providing clarity and helping consumers make informed decisions when making purchases.

Guarantee

A guarantee is an agreement from the manufacturer/seller to the buyer that an item/product is sold in the best condition and that the manufacturer/seller agrees REPLACE the product or REFUND the buyer if it fails to live up to expectations within a period of its purchase.

The guarantee is always free since you need not pay an extra to obtain a guarantee when you buy a product. Nonetheless, the guarantee is legally binding on the manufacturer/seller.

Warranty

The warranty is an agreement from the manufacturer/seller to the buyer that an item/product is sold in the best condition and that the manufacturer/seller agrees REPAIR or REPLACE a product or its parts if it fails to live up to expectations within a period after its purchase.

The warranty becomes effective only after the guarantee period offered by the manufacturer has ended; hence, you will need to pay for a warranty and that is why it is sometimes called the extended guarantee. In fact, the warranty is usually offered by the retailer of an item and not its manufacturer.

Key Difference between Warrantee and Guarantee

From the explanation above, you would have gleaned the subtle difference between the Warranty and the Guarantee.

For more clarity consider statement at the back of a washing machine that I bought in December 2014: “This Washing Machine has a 60-day money-back guarantee and a 2-year warranty.”

It simply means that if the washing machine is defective or fails to meet the expected standard, I can return it within 60 days and obtain my money. In addition, I can return it to the store for repairs or replacement of one of its parts if it becomes defective during the 2-year lifespan of the warranty.


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