What is an Implied Warranty?

By definition, an implied warranty is not an express warranty. Doesn't help much does it? Just more legalese. Ok, lets start again.

Many products have written warranties. Think about buying a toaster. In the box you'll probably find a warranty card. The card might say that there is a "two year parts and labour warranty" on the toaster. 

What that means is that if the toaster breaks down within two years from when you bought it, you can return it for repair or replacement. If you can take it back to where you bought it, then you can return it without extra cost. 

Of course, the warranty doesn't cover the toaster if you break it, it only covers repair or replacement if something is actually wrong with the way the toaster was made of the way it works – or doesn't work.

An implied warranty is something NOT written on a warranty card.

Warranties are implied by law. In different places around the world there are laws about consumer protection or fair trading. Those laws imply certain warranties into the supply of goods or services.

The warranties implied by law are promises that have to be kept. There is no getting out of them. In fact, the law says that if you include a term in your contract or terms and conditions that says the implied warranties do not apply, that clause is void and not enforceable.

So, what are some implied warranties? These examples come from Australian Fair Trading and Trade Practice laws.

Implied Warranties for the Sale of Goods:

  • the goods are what you claim them to be
  • the goods are fit for the purpose for which they are sold
  • the goods are of marketable quality
  • the goods meet their description – either in words or pictures
  • the goods are or will be delivered within a reasonable time

Implied Warranties for the Provision of Services:

  • if you are the service provider, you have the expertise that you claim to have
  • the services meet their description
  • the services are or will be develivered in a timely manner
  • the services are able to achieve the purpose for which you sought them
  • you are only charged for the services that you require, and not provided with additional services with additional fees

Other types of contracts, like building contracts, contracts for borrowing money, and contracts for the provision of financial advice may attract implied warranties specific to that industry. It is worth checking out what you are signing up for when you want to market goods or services to the public.

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