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Clearly inform customers about starting date of warranty period: CCPA to electronic appliance makers

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The feasibility of having the date of installation as the date from which warranty period should be calculated was discussed during the meeting

New Delhi: The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare has asked electronic appliance manufacturers to clearly inform customers about the starting date of the warranty period and also promptly address their grievances.

The CCPA held a meeting with electronic appliance manufacturing companies to discuss the issue of commencement of warranty period from the date of installation instead of the date of purchase, an official statement said.

“Since warranty period as per the policies set by manufacturers commences from purchase date, and not date of installation, there is shortfall in the warranty period, as consumers can only begin using the product after it has been installed on their premises,” the CCPA said.

The meeting was chaired by Nidhi Khare, Chief Commissioner, CCPA and was attended by representatives from major electronic appliance companies including Reliance Retail, LG, Panasonic, Haier, Croma and Bosch.

In her address, Khare highlighted three key points on the issue.

Firstly, she noted that consumers should be clearly informed about the starting point of the warranty period.

“It should not be the case that the consumer comes to know about the details of the warranty after she/he has purchased the product,” Khare asserted.

Secondly, Khare said companies should ensure that global best practices are followed in India.

Thirdly, the chief commissioner asserted that consumer grievances relating to the warranty period must be addressed in a proactive and prompt manner.

Consumer rights as defined under Section 2(9) of the Act, includes the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods, products or services, as the case may be, so as to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices.

During the meeting, it was deliberated that electronic appliances are generally of two categories “plug-n-play” products such as iron press, microwave etc. which do not require any installation and products requiring installation such as air conditioners, refrigerators etc.

The feasibility of having the date of installation as the date from which warranty period should be calculated was discussed during the meeting, the statement said.

Further, it was discussed that measures may be explored to prevent abuse of this mechanism and to ensure that consumer interest is adequately safeguarded.

“There was a general consensus among the companies to address the issue in a proactive manner keeping in view concerns of consumers,” the statement said.

All the companies were requested to send their views within 15 days, it added.

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