ACCC asks Belkin to review advertised warranty

No disclaimer on product packaging.

The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from consumer electronics manufacturer Belkin to honour claims under its lifetime warranty policies for the lifetime of the original purchaser.

During 2016 and 2017, Belkin supplied certain products with a “lifetime warranty” or “limited lifetime warranty”. However, Belkin applied a policy of only repairing or replacing products under these warranties within the five years from the date of purchase. A disclaimer was not printed on product packaging but was referred to on Belkin’s website.

Products affected by these “lifetime warranty” claims included wireless routers, switches and cables.

“Belkin has acknowledged that its lifetime warranty representations may have breached the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct and false or misleading representations about the effect of a warranty or guarantee,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“Manufacturers must ensure consumers are not misled by warranty representations. If a business makes a lifetime warranty claim, they must be very clear about what this means with their customers.”

In addition, Belkin has admitted that some products with lifetime warranties were likely to be non-compliant with the Australian Consumer Law because they did not include the wording required for use in any warranty against defects. Belkin has undertaken to correct its website and packaging to comply with this requirement.

Belkin cooperated with the ACCC’s investigation and has taken steps to resolve the ACCC’s concerns.

In a statement supplied to Appliance Retailer, Belkin said, “Belkin is committed to creating products that are meticulously designed and engineered with the highest standards, certification and compliance guidelines to ensure they are safe, reliable and compatible with a broad range of consumer electronics. As part of this commitment, Belkin offers industry-leading express warranties across its extensive range of products that are additional to the consumer guarantees required by law.

“Earlier this year, Belkin was made aware of concerns regarding how some of its warranty terms were communicated in Australia. In collaboration with the local consumer regulator, Belkin has undertaken to update its website and packaging to ensure that its express warranty terms are clearly communicated and meet all applicable requirements.”

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