Some repair companies only give a 3 month guarantee on an appliance repair. It’s often the larger repair companies. It doesn’t show much confidence in either the repair or the parts fitted. Personally I find 3 month guarantees on repairs disingenuous. I would never use a company giving such a pathetic one. They cannot hide behind such a short guarantee. We have consumer rights that cover this. However, you might have to do some fighting to get them. I can only assume if a company was really good with consumer rights they would never give such a paltry guarantee.
The point to remember here is that a guarantee on a repair should be little different to a guarantee when buying a new washing machine. That is, it is in addition to your statutory rights. The guarantee on the repair is just a gesture by the repair company – but it cannot take away your statutory rights, which can be enforced if necessary.
Are they being serious?
This is the reality of what they are doing. If you paid £180 to have a new part fitted to your washing machine, and the repair company only gave you a 3 (or even 6) month guarantee, but the part failed after 8 months would they seriously expect you to pay another £180 to have it fixed? Surely no customer would stand for that yet that’s the reality of it. If such a company says of course they wouldn’t expect you to pay another £180 to replace a brand new part they sold you then – why is the guarantee only 3 months? What’s the point? Sadly many will indeed insist that, “sorry, it’s out of guarantee now”.
In such a case you can easily argue that it wasn’t fit for its purpose and did not last for a “reasonable” time under the sale of goods act. Within the first 6 months, it may also be possible to argue that the motor had an inherent fault under the new 2002 consumer rights addition (applicable since March 2003) which says if a new product goes faulty within 6 months of purchase, it is assumed that the part must have been inherently faulty from the day of purchase unless the seller can prove otherwise. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t apply equally to a new part as it does to a complete appliance.
The same “merchantable quality” and lasting a “reasonable time” rules that apply to buying a new washing machine should also apply to new washing machine parts and repairs. The problems arise when an engineer at your house says, sorry, it’s out of guarantee now and says they can’t help. If a new part or a repair has not lasted a reasonable time then you ought to be able to get it repaired free of charge.
If the repair company refuse, you will need to consider taking them to a small claims court, or getting further advice from a consumer group. Before booking a repair – always check what guarantee they give first. 12 months is ideal, but even then if a part fails after 12 months you can have a claim under the sale of goods act depending on circumstances (eg. you paid a lot of money to have a new control board fitted, which isn’t a part subject to wear, and it only lasted 18 months).
No parts fitted?
If no parts are fitted it’s slightly less clear, but any repair (such as sealing a leak up) should be of sufficient quality to last a reasonable time. Therefore if you pay to have a leak fixed and they sealed something up but the same leak re-occurs too quickly then the repair might be said to have not lasted a reasonable time. An engineer may very well advise they can’t guarantee how long a “fix” would last under certain circumstances, which may well be perfectly reasonable. I’ve done so myself many times. It’s in their interests to give reasonable descriptions of what they are trying to do, and how it may not last, so that you can decide whether to accept the risk or not. Ideally it should also be written on the invoice to cover themselves too.