Video evidence for warranty claim

Bought an electric blanket from an Australian ebay store with 12 month warranty. 5 months on the control switches both failed in quick succession. Contacted seller who insists I send a “relevant video” of issue.
I can see this is a growing trend, but is it reasonable? I know it’s pointless from the point of view of demonstrating anything. Am I obliged to provide this?


Sending a video is probably the easiest thing to do unless you want to argue with the vendor.

A few years ago I bought some LED down lights from an ebay merchant. One failed. The vendor wanted photo evidence. Think about that :rofl: I sent them a photo of a ‘dark’ (failed) LED in the ceiling and they promptly refunded. It might be so simple as the vendor has boxes that need ticking.


A retailer needs to confirm that there is a fault with a product to resolve a warranty claim. With traditional bricks and mortar stores, this is done by returning the product to the place of purchase. With online buying, taking it back to the place of purchase may be impossible (if based overseas) or inconvenient. This is recognised by the ACCC by allowing items to be posted back to the seller.

However for some items and as the seller is ultimately responsible for any return postage costs, the cost of posting may be uneconomic for larger and/lower cost items.

A seller, instead of asking faulty items to be returned can ask for evidence of the fault. This could be a photo or video. This streamlines the resolution process and saves the consumer considerable time (time for organising return postage and loss of time the product is in transit).

While the ACCC/Australian Consumer Law doesn’t specifically cover photos or videos as evidence of a faulty product, a reasonable person would consider such requests are okay to save costs and time (minimise inconvenience). As a result, such would not be seem as being inconsistent with the intent of the ACL.

Photo and video evidence also became more of a norm during Covid lockdowns when returning to a store wasn’t possible.

The request is therefore reasonable and if you don’t provide it, it may delay the claim/resolution process.

As the video is providing information to the seller there is a fault, the video should be taken in attempt to show the fault and when it occurs. If the video is inconclusive, the sell may then ask for the electric blanket to be returned. This is also reasonable.


Providing some sort of evidence is reasonable. I would think sending a photo would be adequate. Assuming that everybody has these means to take and send them images may be untrue in some cases but if you can it is easier than having to physically return the item so they can eyeball it.


As others have said, requiring photo/video evidence is the fall-back position of many online retailers, particularly ones from overseas.

If you can set up and take a photo or video showing:

  • the electric blankets plugged in (needs to be near a power point),
  • the power point turned on,
  • the controls not showing lights, and
  • a thermometer showing the temperature of the electric blanket

would be what I would send.

No, you are not, but if you do, you have a better chance of getting a refund.

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Thank you all for your wise counsel. I have now sent a video.


Not sure if I should make this a new topic or not, but am now stymied with regards to this matter. I sent a video, the seller is ignoring my messages. I can’t request a refund with ebay as they say it is outside the seller’s return window. I can’t pursue it through paypal as they say I must pursue it through ebay. I believe I am entitled to a refund for a major fault under the warranty period but I don’t know if there is any way to proceed.

You apparently received what was advertised so the dispute is about warranty rather than the transaction. The problem is between you and the seller since ebay has stepped aside, noting you could lodge a complaint with ebay regarding the conduct of their seller regarding possible misrepresentation - eg the warranty.

Since you are being stonewalled does the packaging state who to contact for warranty? Although the seller is technically and legally responsible it might be easiest to pursue the manufacturer/importer if they are identified. If the blanket came in an unmarked plastic wrap as often happens with imports, especially low cost products from Asia, there are other issues such as whether they comply with AS/NZS 3350.2.17:2000. ‘Proper’ imports of same should have a stick on tag identifying the importer.

Following on, if you can identify the seller’s contact outside ebay, such as through the email address they used for the paypal payment (you do have a record of that don’t you?) try sending them a formal Letter of Complaint to that email as well as a copy via ebay messaging… You can find substantial advice about how to write one using search on the Community, Choice, and the ACCC web sites.

If the blanket does not show evidence of complying with AS/NZS 3350 you could also complain to the electrical safety regulator in your state/the sellers state regarding the seller/sale.


Thank you, Phil. Packaging just has a RCM. No indication of provenance. I spent some time on live chat with an ebay rep who said he/she would have a word, although ebay normally would not get involved. Soon after the seller contacted me with a request to resend the video, this time to a video sharing site.
This 30 day return policy does raise a more general question about warranty security on ebay items, I think. Is ebay effectively thwarting Australian consumer laws by disallowing buyers access to their rights?

No. As eBay is a selling platform linking sellers to buyers, the warranty or consumer guarantee claims are direct with and lie with the seller and not eBay.

The easiest way to explain why this is the case is if the product is faulty and needs a repair, one sends it to the seller not eBay.