Engineer can’t come for over a week – is this acceptable?

Calendar If your appliance is under guarantee, or some kind of extended warranty, and they can’t send a repair engineer out for over a week, is that acceptable?

Repairs are covered under the supply of services section of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (formally the sale of goods act) and have to be carried out within a “reasonable time”. If we are free to choose our own repairer we wouldn’t have to wait that long. We would just find someone else who can do it quicker. But with appliances under a guarantee, or covered by maintenance contracts and extended warranties, we are captive customers.


Many people are unaware that the speed of service received through a manufacturer’s guarantee or an extended warranty or guarantee can be slow. Big national repair companies, or manufacturers often can’t fit you in for several days, or worse in busy periods. They don’t do it on purpose.

Clearly, neither have enough engineers. Manufacturers, and big repair companies carrying out in guarantee work, or repairs covered by insurance schemes, don’t have the same commercial worries about people not using them if they don’t come quickly enough. Many engineers or repair companies working subcontract for manufacturers or warranty companies are also working on very small margins.

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They don’t get paid much per job, and often cover very large areas. This affects the level of service they can give. For example, they may only come to your area every Wednesday. So if they need to return with a spare part – there can be a weeks delay each time.

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If you have an appliance under the manufacturers initial guarantee you cannot go elsewhere. But with extended warranties it may be worth checking the small print to see if you can use a local independent repair company and claim the costs back (probably rare these days though) continued below...


Do they have a service level pledge?

Also check the small print for any promises from the repair policy that an engineer will visit within so many days. The relevant consumer rights here are that, service work must be “finished in a reasonable time”. You may argue that waiting for a week, without a washing machine or a freezer (if they are unusable) is unreasonable.

The chances are they won’t agree with your definition of reasonable but everything depends on individual circumstances. For example if you just paid over £1000 for a fridge freezer and it broke down within days it’s surely unreasonable for you to have to wait a week before anyone even looks at it – with no guarantee they won’t have to order parts and leave you waiting even longer.


If on the other hand it’s still working, but making a strange noise, or has some other minor issue, then it might not be so bad waiting a week. Cases need judging on their own merit using common sense. If you feel you have a strong case and the appliance is new you may try demanding a replacement instead. This may at least hurry them up a bit.

If under an extended warranty you are at their mercy, which is one of the disadvantages of them. If they give very bad service you can look into claiming compensation but would need to take advice from a consumer help group.

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19 thoughts on “Engineer can’t come for over a week – is this acceptable?”

  1. “If you have an appliance under the manufacturers initial guarantee you cannot go elsewhere”

    More accurately, you risk voiding your warranty if you make repairs in another way. But if you have a ten thousand pound machine that you need for your business and are losing thousands of pounds a day then you might like to violate your warranty.

  2. Avril Philipson

    I have a Bosch washing machine which is almost 1 year old within a two year warranty
    There was a fault with the door and eventually Bosch the came eight days later. However the engineer deemed it was something to do with the drain pipe and he would have to pull the machine out which meant removing my dryer from above it
    Although my husband would have helped lift it down he said this was against health and safety and we are now left waiting from the 28th of October until a two man team can come on the 14th of November
    I will have been without a washing machine for more than three weeks is this acceptable as the machine is within the warranty period
    I am furious

    1. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

      Health and safety gone mad. It is ludicrous to say 2 people can’t lift down a tumble dryer together. A tumble dryer is very light. I used to take them down all on my own, no problem. It’s either an excuse, or they are being over the top with caution.

      The problem is, that unless the engineer was lying (or mistaken) in saying he couldn’t help lift it down with the help of another adult male, then they would say it’s not their fault that they couldn’t access the washing machine.

      1. Avril Philipson

        Thank you for replying
        Bosch as above gave me a date of the 14th of November, more than two weeks away, so that two engineers could come out to get the dryer down!
        When I said I could get it down before then I was given the date of the 10th of November as the soonest one person could return
        However, a short email to the CEO of Bosch UK produced brilliant results and yesterday I received a call from the executive assistant to whom he had passed my email and they came this afternoon and fixed it.
        That was after we managed to get the dryer down, so that one man came
        I think there’s a lesson to be learned there
        You can get hold of any CEO s email there is a special website look it up on Google
        It’s always worth taking it to the top if you are going to complain!
        I have to say I’m feeling very pleased with myself! Lol

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