How Aussies are flushing cash down toilet
Nearly one in five Australians are still buying extended warranties even when they offer nothing more than your legal rights, consumer advocates are warning in the lead-up to Christmas and Boxing Day sales.
Choice recently polled 1112 Australians and found 18 per cent were stumping up for extended warranties, which retailers heavily pushed but were a waste of money, the group's consumer rights expert Julia Steward said.
"Many extended warranties largely replicate or underplay your existing rights under the Australian consumer law," she said.
"They're a sales trick to squeeze more money out of you.
"If someone tries to push an extended warranty on you, ask them 'what does this give me beyond the Australian consumer law?'"
Under the law, for a reasonable amount of time after a purchase, stores must offer to replace, repair or refund your money if there is a major fault with a product, depending on its expected lifespan, even if the manufacturer's warranty has expired.
"Your rights are often longer and more comprehensive than what you receive from a warranty," Ms Steward said.
"Consumer Affairs or Fair Trading in your state or territory are a good next step if you're unhappy with the retailer's response.
"It's important to tell these bodies so they can act if there's a broader issue at play."
Choice also reminds shoppers they may be able to get a refund on a faulty product by asking their credit or debit card provider for a chargeback, which reverses a transaction.
"Under some circumstances, your bank or payment service may refund you," Ms Steward said.
"It's important that you've kept records and tried to resolve things with the retailer first, as typically your bank will expect you've done this first."
Originally published as How Aussies are flushing cash down toilet