Understanding Home Decor Warranties

Jun 6, 2022

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CoCreative Interiors Site Icone

Written By cocreativeinteriors

When you purchase anything new for your home, some kind of warranty is typically attached to the purchase. If you are in the midst of a home design project, you hear about warranties left and right. Even though you know your purchases have a warranty, do you really understand what they mean for you as the consumer? Here’s a breakdown of the common home decor warranty types so that you are knowledgeable and able to take action should you need to bring a complaint or concern to the manufacturer. 

Types of Home Decor Warranties

In the United States, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) classifies warranties in two main ways: implied warranties and express warranties. 

Implied Warranties

The majority of purchases made by consumers are covered by some sort of implied warranty. This type of warranty is an unspoken and unwritten promise created by state laws. Within implied warranties, there are two specific subsections:

Implied Warranty of Merchantability

An implied warranty of merchantability means that the product will work as claimed, and there is nothing wrong with the item at the time of sale. The law indicates that every time a merchant makes a sale, they also make this implied warranty to the consumer. 

If you purchase a new dishwasher as a part of your kitchen remodel, you expect the machine to clean and sanitize your dishes in the cycle time indicated. The seller also agrees to this expectation through an implied warranty. If the dishwasher does not fulfill the functions promised, a breach of the implied warranty allows you as the consumer to ask the manufacturer for a fix or replacement. 

home decor warranties

Implied Warranty of Fitness

An implied warranty of fitness means that when you tell a merchant what you need and purchase on their recommendation, there is an implied warranty that the product will work for your needs. For example, if you buy the flooring and tell the merchant that you have very high trafficked floors with lots of moisture tracked through and need something durable. If the salesperson steers you toward flooring easily damaged by water, that is a breach of an implied warranty of fitness. 

Both types of implied warranties make guarantees of the condition of the products at the time of sale but do not make any guarantees on the time the product should last. They also will not cover everyday use, misuse or failure to follow directions. There is also no specific timeframe for the end of an implied warranty, but a standard rule of thumb is four years. If after four years you find problems, they may be attributed to regular use. 

Express Warranties

An express warranty is something that is promised by the seller or manufacturer. This type of warranty can be spoken or written and guarantees that the product will meet a certain level of quality and reliability over its lifetime. If the express warranty is not fulfilled, the manufacturer is expected to fix or replace the product at no charge to the consumer. 

If you purchase a lightbulb that states it will last 15,000 hours, an express warranty has been issued. The warranty does not have to specifically include a guarantee because the manufacturer is communicating an expectation to the consumer. 

Express warranties can be written or spoken, but a spoken warranty will be harder to prove later. For example, if you buy an outdoor furniture set and the salesperson guarantees it will not rust in the rain but you see rust after a few months, proving a verbal warranty is a challenge. Getting all warranties in writing makes taking action easier if you need to do so in the future. 

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

In 1975, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act strengthened the power of warranties for consumers. Congress had four intentions when passing this act: 

  • Ensuring consumers can get clear information about warranty terms and conditions. 
  • Ensuring consumers can compare warranty coverage before making a purchase. 
  • Promoting competition based on available warranty coverage.
  • Incentivizing companies to perform their warranty obligations since the act makes pursuing a breach of warranty easier for consumers. 

There are a few things that the Magnuson-Moss Act does not require: 

  • Provision of written warranties; however, if a written warranty is provided, it must comply with the act. 
  • Oral warranties; verbal guarantees are not tied to the act’s requirements. 
  • Warranties on consumer products that fall outside of the personal, family or household categories. 

The act was passed to protect consumers from dishonest sales practices and provide quick remedies for breaches of warranty. It is a powerful piece of legislation for consumer rights and peace of mind when making a purchase.

We know that home decor warranties are not the most exciting thing to learn about, but when you spend a lot of money to find the perfect pieces for your home design project, knowing your rights is important should something go wrong. If your head is swimming with warranty jargon, get in touch! We are happy to help our North Carolina clients choose the right pieces for their homes for style and longevity. You’re invited to book your complimentary discovery call today! 


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