A disclaim warranty is one in which the warranty document is letting the buyer know that the seller is not to be held to any promises or responsibilities regarding the product. This can be done retroactively to negate a previously existing warranty, or it can be included with the product’s warranty prior to sale and purchase.

What Is a Warranty?

So, we know what disclaim warranty is, but what is an actual warranty?

A warranty is a promise made by the seller to the buyer about a product or device, ensuring its quality, usability, or reliability. If, for some reason, the product proves to be defective, then the seller could be held in breach of warranty.

Express or Implied Warranties

Generally, a warranty falls into one of two categories: express warranties or implied warranties. The key differences among them are:

  • Express warranties are ones in which the responsibility of the seller is expressed to the buyer via words and/or actions. For example, a written consumer warranty, along with instructions as to how go about returning an item and/or seeking a refund or replacement, and product information and descriptions all fall within the scope of an express warranty. Generally speaking, when we speak of warranties, this is to what we are referring.
  • Implied warranties are those in which, as the name reflects, the warranty is assumed to exist, whether or not it had ever been clearly stated. There used to be an adage in the consumer world of “buyer beware;” the idea of the implied warranty essentially did away with that, providing buyers the right to safely assume that products they purchase will be in good working order.

A more specific example of an express warranty would be if you are in a store and see the floor model of a couch you would like to purchase. The express warranty provides the guarantee that the couch that ultimately gets delivered to your home is of the same quality as the one you saw in the store.

Meanwhile, an implied warranty may exist if you purchase an engagement ring at Tiffany’s and a written (or express) warranty is not included with your purchase. As Tiffany’s is arguably one of the best jewelry stores in the world, specializing in the creation of engagement rings, you, as the buyer, have a right to assume that you are purchasing a high quality gemstone and metal, one that will not come apart. With that said, the implied warranty also assumes that you are using (or, in this case, wearing) the item in keeping with its intended purpose.

For example, if you start using the diamond in the ring, to cut glass, then Tiffany’s could claim that the ring was not being used as intended, thus voiding any kind of warranty. This can also be known as an implied warranty of merchantability.

An implied warranty of merchantability only applies to those products in which the seller actually specializes. So, while Tiffany’s certainly has an implied warranty of merchantability insofar as engagement rings are concerned, if the company sells a box of unused computer printer paper to the Apple Store down the street, there is no implied warranty of merchantability.

Additional Warranties

In addition to the previously mentioned implied warranty of merchantability, there is also the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. In this case, the implied warranty is that the buyer is relying on the experience and expertise of the seller as it pertains to a certain product and it’s usability. For example, if you are buying a lawnmower and you go to John Deere, you have the right to assume that that entity has a certain expertise when it comes to lawnmowers, while the seller is also able to assume that you are purchasing a lawnmower for the specific purpose of cutting your grass.

Now, if you tell the seller that you also want to use the lawnmower as a mode of transportation to get from your house to your neighbor’s, then the implied warranty still exists for whatever lawnmower you are sold; however, if you fail to mention that aspect of your intent, then the seller can make the claim that the warranty is no longer valid, and they were not aware of the additional uses you wanted the lawnmower to serve, when they sold it to you.

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