CHOICE membership

Dodgy Warranty Information?

This warranty information page directs all warranty claims to the manufacturers/distributors, rather than accepting any warranty claims themselves. I was under the impression that the retailer was the first port of call for warranty, so is this company’s warranty instructions page lawful?

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They include

My Generator will always help facilitate the process between the customer and manufacturer if necessary.

which is probably the equivalent of a get out of jail free card as far the the ACL is concerned. Whether that meets the standard for them ‘owning’ the issue, ‘facilitate’ might be a word selected to suggest it is not their problem but they will accept it is their problem when necessary.

Back to first port of call, one can use the ACL or get someone on the phone with a clue, so this doesn’t bother me re the ACL or a potential warranty claim. As posted in other topics, I go to the ‘door’ with the best chance of getting a speedy and proper resolution; if that is the manufacturer and they fob me off, off to the retailer/seller I go, ACL in hand if necessary.

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It’s perfectly fine for them to direct warranty claims through the manufacturer, as long as this warranty is IN ADDITION to the guarantees under consumer law.

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A remote start generator I purchased mid last year expired - motor ran, but alternator not working - after a few months, and they directed me to the manufacturer, Dunlite, and the unit was replaced with a minimum of fuss.

Now the plastic housing of the control panel has fallen apart, plastic cracked presumably due to motor vibration, so I’ve asked My Generator for a replacement panel. No response yet, but I assume they will tell me to contact Dunlite again. Fobbing off warranty claims direct to the manufacturer seems an easy way to avoid them making any effort to fulfil claims to me.

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I wonder if this website is a marketing platform for the distributer/manufacturer rather than a retailer per say. They say they ship from warehouses around the country but only have offices in Sydney and Gold Coast… .this seems to indicate that they may be a marketing platform.

It might be like eBay for the companies that advertise their products?

If this was the case, then they might be correct in pointing customers to the manufacturers/distributors for warranty claims…as in effect the manufacturers/distributors are also the retailer.

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In many cases, and using yours as an example, it could be the quickest resolution.

You could go to the manufacturer who might drop ship you the part with a photo sent as evidence, or on your word, or might want the broken part for inspection, but it is a two party resolution. OR

You could go to the seller who might want the bad part as evidence, or will accept a photo or your word, who might need to send it (the warranty claim however handled) to the manufacturer for inspection, who sends a new part to the seller who sends it to you - in the worst case. Easily another day or more in the process because of administration and processing time at the seller, if no other reason.

How many sellers would stock the part? So which is your best shot at a quick resolution? If the manufacturer knocks you back, you can always take your claim to the seller, ACL in hand.

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Hard to say exactly what they are really, no shop fronts anywhere, but selling a huge range of brands, in parallel to other outlets.

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With a bit more research…These are also under the same ABN…

Caravan RV Camping also has similar warranty claim resolution wording pointing customers to the brand manufacturer/distributors…Some product warranties may be handled directly by the manufacturer as they have specialist teams dedicated to the warranty and technical support regarding their products. They will also have their own service agents that meet their warranty standards. These products will need to be produced with the original packages if possible. Here is a list of our suppliers to help you get into contact with the correct warranty deptartment.

Maybe the FWR Brand website gives a clue to how it operates…

We are an eCommerce company.

We provide market leading digital platforms for our customers and brands to connect, find product solutions and happiness.

So it appears that they aren’t a retailer, but a marketing platform to allow brands (manufacturers, distributors and importers) to market and sell their products. Their street addrsses of their offices are also interesting, the one at the Varsity Lakes (Gold Coast) appears to be in a rentable shared office space…while the one in Sydney is in a office tower in down town Sydney…Level 2, 85 William Street, Darlinghurst Sydney NSW 2010. This tends to support the above that it is an eCommerce/marketing platform type business.

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If I may split hairs here, information at the ACCC on Repair, replace, refund states"

" Approaching the retailer or manufacturer

The retailer who sold you the product or service cannot refuse to help you by sending you to the manufacturer or importer. You can approach the manufacturer or importer directly, however, you will only be entitled to recover costs from them, which include an amount for reduction in the product’s value and in some cases compensation for damages or loss. You cannot demand a repair, replacement or refund from the manufacturer."

As stated above, approaching the manufacturer directly limits what you can claim. Also, it does not limit what sort of retailer you can approach. Whether they are an e-commerce retailer, or a marketting platform, they are still the retailer, and they can NOT fob you off!

This is not to say that the manufacturer may co-operate and rectify the situation, which is great. BUT it is alway best to go to the retailer.

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Very true @meltam, I have posted the same info myself. If a person chooses to bypass the retailer they can do so but they may severely limit their options by doing so. They may get the issue resolved but they can also risk what choice and recompense they receive.

The only time that going directly to a manufacturer that gives a consumer the same rights as when they go to a retailer is when the manufacturer acts as a retailer as well ie they sell directly to consumers. ACL then treats them as retailers with the same obligations as any other retailer.

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We are surrounded by e-businesses.
Many of these pretend that they have special status acquired through the digital ether. That is they can create and write their own rules. They pretend they are exempt from the laws of the nations where they seek their customers.

Slowly, one by one they are being brought to account whether by the EU or the ACCC or … Slow as that process may be.

If they sell stuff and you pay them for stuff, then as stuff goes they are retailers. We purchased many decades back from a different version of Myer, by phone or mail order. Smaller businesses simply had a mail order service run from behind the counter. Myer had an independent business including catalogue and pricing. Items were not always ex stock. In simple terms who ever issues the invoice, sales docket, receipt is the seller.

Perhaps FWR/MyGenerator need to join the queue at the ACCC?

Reasonably as the seller FWR’s online stores may have arrangements with their suppliers/importers/manufacturers concerning warranty. These may be convenient for the customer. They should not be less than the provisions assured under ACL as if you were going through the retailer. I do wonder how FWR might respond to a warranty claim on a major failure if the product manufacturer had ceased trading and disappeared from the planet.

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