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Defective washing machine

Q: A few days before the two-year commercial guarantee expired, the washing machine stopped working. I immediately reported the problem to the seller and requested that, as per guarantee, it is repaired free of charge. The company’s technician came to my house to check the washing machine and informed me that the cross was damaged and the repair would sum up to €80. I told the technician that since the guarantee was still valid I shouldn’t be requested to pay for the repair. The seller is insisting I have to pay because, according to him, the damage to the cross was caused by the soap I used. May I point out that I only use this washing machine once a week and I always used liquid soap.

What are my rights? Am I entitled to free repair?

A: Unless, when you purchased the washing machine, you were informed to not use a specific type of soap and you disregarded these instructions, then since the two-year guarantee has not yet expired you are legally entitled to free repair. Since a washing machine is supposed to work with soap, if normal liquid soap has caused the damage in its cross, then you may argue that it is not fit for purpose and, according to the Consumer Affairs Act you may claim a free remedy. Should the seller insist that you are not eligible to free repair, you may then lodge a complaint with the Office for Consumer Affairs.

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