Warranty of Merchantability in Consumer Protection Laws

Warranty of Merchantability in Consumer Protection Laws

April 3, 2024 Off By Glespynorson

When you purchase an item, you are implicitly assured that the product will function as intended. This assurance is known as the warranty of merchantability. It is important to note that this promise exists regardless of whether the seller explicitly mentions it.

The Basic Promise

The primary objective is to ensure that any product you purchase performs its intended function. For instance, a blender should be capable of blending ingredients smoothly, a car should operate smoothly and efficiently, and shoes should be comfortable and suitable for wearing. If a product fails to meet these expectations, it may be considered a breach of this basic promise.

Different Types of Warranties

Consumers should be aware of two distinct types of warranties. The first is the warranty of merchantability, also known as an implied warranty which we have already discussed and is automatically applicable to all purchases. The second type is referred to as an explicit warranty. This occurs when the seller or manufacturer explicitly outlines the specific promises and guarantees associated with the product, typically in writing.

How the Law Protects You

To ensure fair treatment for consumers, there are laws in place that regulate various aspects of purchasing goods. These laws provide recourse for consumers in the event that a product fails to function properly, allowing them to seek repairs, replacements, or refunds.

State and Federal Laws

The United States federal government and individual states have enacted legislation to protect consumers’ rights regarding the warranty of merchantability. These laws confirm the promise that the purchased item will work as expected.

How This Affects Product Quality

By imposing the obligation on sellers to guarantee that their products meet certain criteria, it encourages the production of higher-quality goods that benefit consumers.

Your Rights as a Buyer

As a buyer, you have certain rights that are protected by product warranties. These rights include:

  • The Right to a Working Product: You have the right to receive a product that works properly and performs as intended.
  • Right to Take Action: If the seller fails to address any issues with the product, you have the option to seek legal action or file a complaint with a consumer protection agency.

What Sellers Need to Do

Sellers have specific responsibilities when it comes to the warranty of merchantability. These include:

  • Provide Working Products: Sellers are responsible for making sure that the products they sell meet the necessary standards and are fit for their intended use.
  • Honor the Promise: If a product is found to be defective or fails to meet the expected standards, the seller must take appropriate action, such as repairing the item, replacing it, or providing a refund.

In Real Life

As a consumer, it’s important to know that every purchase comes with a warranty of merchantability. This warranty protects the buyer and allows them to address any issues with the seller. If needed, the buyer can even seek legal remedies.