Reply to post: Not to be pedantic but...

Fancy fixing your own mobile devices? Just take the display off carefu...CRUNCH !£$%!

Gordon Lawrie

Not to be pedantic but...

There is no such thing as a statutory EU 2 year minimum warranty. There is also no such thing as a statutory UK 6 year warranty, (or statutory 5 year warranty in Scotland.) These don't exist and haven't ever existed. Ever. Promise.

Directive 1999/44/EC where this myth originates says that where a country limits the length of time the seller of consumer goods is liable for lack of conformity with the contract, that period of liability where the seller can be pursued must be at least two years. That is not the same as saying there must be at least a 2 year warranty. Article 2 of the directive spells out what conformity means but essentially it means that the goods must be accurately described and fit for purpose. Article 3 then gives the consumer rights against the seller where goods do not conform at the point of delivery and Article 4 gives the seller rights against the next guy in the supply chain all the way to the original producer of the goods.

This is all a directive though, an instruction to E.U. member states to make sure that their consumer laws comply with this as a minimum standard. If a member state doesn't bother to comply Joe Citizen can't go to court citing the directive, there needs to be national legislation incorporating these minimum standards in law.

The UK has the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which exceeds the requirements of the directive, but it still doesn't magically create a 2, 5 or 6 year warranty for all consumer goods.

What the Consumer Rights Act 2015 DOES say is that goods must of satisfactory quality, fit for a particular purpose and as described. Fitness for purpose does incorporate factors such as durability. Specifically the reasonableness test is used, goods must meet the standard a reasonable person would consider satisfactory taking into account elements such as price. Realistically that means that a retailer is going to have a hard time claiming that a £1000 iPhone which develops an antenna fault after 13, 19 or even 26 months is of satisfactory quality regardless of what any warranty may or may not say. You may have to litigate to argue that point if the seller is intransigent though.

As for the 6 years, (5 in Scotland,) those are simply the times after which contract claims become time-barred under the Limitation Act 1980 or the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973. They don't mean you get a warranty for that period. Frankly if you bowled up in court and tried to claim a £50 generic phone didn't conform to contract because it conked out after 4 years the judge would be likely to give you an earful and send you on your way. A £7.5K Vertu phone with the same issue at the same time on the other hand may be a very different matter.

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