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Defective water heater: should the supplier pay for the installation?

Q: In December 2012, I purchased a water heater with a five-year commercial guarantee. Nearly three years later, this water heater broke down.

I reported this to the seller, who replaced the water heater with a new one. However, the water heater given to me only carried a two-year guarantee.

I would like to know whether I should accept a water heater with such a short warranty and also whether I should pay for the installation of the water heater. Since the original one was defective, shouldn’t the supplier pay for the installation?

A: Since the water heater was purchased more than two years ago, the legal provisions and free remedies stipulated in the Consumer Affairs Act cannot be applied in this particular case. This means that the seller is only obliged to honour the five-year commercial warranty he has given you when you purchased the water heater.

With regards to the replaced water heater with a two-year commercial guarantee, according to law, this is like when a product is replaced under guarantee, the guarantee does not start to apply all over again but the original one continues.

With reference to the installation fee, you need to check the guarantee’s documents. If the terms and conditions of the commercial guarantee do not specify that installation charges in case of a replacement have to be paid by the consumer, then these expenses should be covered by the seller.

In other words, you are only obliged to pay for the installation if the commercial guarantee stipulates such a condition.

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