Guarantee refers to the assurance or promise to the buyer of the product regarding the quality, nature and performance of the product. In case the product or service does not conform to the standards mentioned in the terms of guarantee then it means that the product is not as per the guarantee.
Differences between guarantee and warranty
Guarantee and warranty are used as synonyms by many people but these are very different terms. Following points highlight the differences between guarantee and warranty:
- Guarantee is a promise made by the manufacturer regarding the performance of the product while warranty is given for the durability of the product.
- Guarantee is given for both goods and services while warranty is given for the goods only.
- Guarantee is expressed while warranty is both implied and expressed.
- Guarantee may or may not be a condition of sale while warranty is a condition of sale in most of the agreements in which purchase is made.
Guarantee of goods and services
Guarantee is given for both goods and services.
- Guarantee with respect to “goods”- Seller provides guarantee before selling his/her product. For example, guarantee is given for refrigerators, mobile phones, and other appliances. Section 2(10) of the Act defines defect. It states, “defect means any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or standard which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or under any contract, express or implied or as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods or product and the expression defective shall be construed accordingly.”
- Guarantee with respect to “services”- Guarantee for services can be medical services, internet services, repair or maintenance of the products, etc.
Section 2(11) defines deficiency in services and states that “deficiency means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to any service and includes
- any act of negligence or omission or commission by such person which causes loss or injury to the consumer;
- deliberate withholding of relevant information by such person to the consumer.”
Breach of guarantee- An unfair trade practice
Refusing to fulfill the terms of guarantee can be called an unfair trade practice under Consumer protection Act, 2019. Section 2(47) of the Consumer Protection Act, defines “unfair trade practice”. According to this Section, “unfair trade practice means a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or unfair or deceptive practice such as:
- making any statement which falsely represents that the goods are of a particular standard, quality, quantity, grade, composition, style or model;
- represents that the goods or services have sponsorship, approval, performance, characteristics, accessories, uses or benefits which such goods or services do not have;
- gives to the public any warranty or guarantee of the performance, efficacy or length of life of a product or of any goods that is not based on an adequate or proper test thereof;
- makes to the public a representation in a form that purports to be a warranty or guarantee of a product or of any goods or services; or a promise to replace, maintain or repair an article or any part thereof or to repeat or continue a service until it has achieved a specified result;
- if such purported warranty or guarantee or promise is materially misleading or if there is no reasonable prospect that such warranty, guarantee or promise will be carried out.
Proviso to this sub section says that if the seller objects that the guarantee is based on the basis of some proper test, then it is the obligation of the seller to prove the same.
Action under Consumer Protection Act, 2019
If there is breach of guarantee, then the consumer should go to the seller first for the repair, replacement or compensation. If the seller does not accept his/her liability and refuses to take any action then consumer can go to the consumer court.
- Definition of “consumer”- According to Section 2(7) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 consumer is the person who buys a good for consideration which is fully/partly paid or under the system of deferred payment or hires/ avails any service fully/partly paid or is under the system of deferred payment.
- Rights of consumer- Section 2(9) talks about consumer rights, following are the rights of the consumer:
- right to be protected against the marketing of goods, products and services; Right to be informed about the quality, price, standard, etc of the products;
- right to be assured;
- right to be heard;
- right to seek redressal against the unfair trade practices;
- right to consumer awareness.
- Redressal mechanism- The COPRA provides a redressal mechanism where the consumer can approach District Commission, State Commission and National Commission. The redressal mechanism depends upon the consideration paid for the goods purchased or services rendered. It is as follows:
- Section 34 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 says that a consumer can approach District commission for the disputes upto 1 crore;
- According to Section 47 of the Act, consumer can approach State Commission for the disputes between 1 crore and 10 crores;
- Section 58 says that for the disputes of more than 10 crores, consumers can approach National Commission.
It is however, advisable to take the written guarantee of the products so that it can be shown as an evidence in case of problem. Also, the consumer should read the terms of guarantee of the product before buying it. In case the seller refuses to pay damages or fix or replace the product, the consumer can file consumer complaint in accordance with the provisions of COPRA, 2019.
Edited by Pragash Boopal
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje