John Lewis launches free two-year guarantee on all electricals

3 Oct 2013

John Lewis Guarantee

John Lewis has announced it's launching a free two-year guarantee for all electrical goods, in an effort to make "guarantees easier to understand for consumers".

The two-year guarantee will cover all electricals, including audio equipment and games consoles, and will run alongside the existing five-year guarantee already offered by John Lewis on all televisions.

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The minimum two-year guarantee is already in place on many goods both in stores and online, with all electricals set to be covered by October 10th 2013.

The guarantee is designed to cover "manufacturing defect causing breakdown" – in other words if the product is used as it should be but stops working. It doesn't cover damage caused by "accidents or misuse".

John Lewis Two Year Guarantee

John Lewis says it will aim to get any broken product back working again, but will if necessary replace faulty products or discuss alternative products where necessary. For electricals, any replacement product would come with a fresh two-year guarantee.

The fine print also states "electrical accessory products will continue to be covered by manufacturer warranties only". 

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John Lewis' famous "Never Knowingly Undersold" price promise continues, with the store promising customers that they "won't find better value for money anywhere else on the high street".

By comparison, Sevenoaks offers a minimum of twelve months on new equipment, while Richer Sounds offers its '5 Year Supercare' warranty, which costs £9.99 on all items under £100, or 10% of purchase price for goods over £100.

Would a free two-year guarantee make you more likely to shop in a certain store? Is two years long enough? Have you had a better experience from a local dealer? Let us know in the comments below. 


by Joe Cox

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Relocated - Nah, I don't need to read it (again!). Nor SOGA; The EU 'Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers 2002' Regulations which the 1999/44/EC directive was part of; The Statutory Instrument No.3045 from 2002 which was how all of these regulations were transposed into our SOGA, or any of the other relevant stuff. Feel free to check all of those out yourself though if you're in need of something to make you sleepy Smile

I'm afraid you've maybe read some of the common misinformation surrounding these regulations. Easily done, there's so much cobblers about this on the net!

The two-year 'guarantee' that the EU provide is merely a statutory guarantee that you have a minimum of two years to take advantage of the statutory rights contained in the EU consumer Regs. In much the same way we UK punters have six years to take advantage of SOGA. Neither of these are a warranty/guarantee of the type which is supplied with a product, as this legislation does not apply to manufacturers.

The EU regs actually brought in the 'Reversed Burden of Proof' (The six month period you refer to) so you most definitely have the same obligations in the EU as you have here. You need to demonstrate why the goods fail to conform to contract after 6 months in the UK/EU Regs. Prior to the EU Regs being adapted into our legislation, the UK consumer had the burden of proof from day one.

Trading Standards do not promote the 2 year directive because, well, they shouldn't! It isn't applicable as (in its basic form) it would provide less cover than we currently have. The EU Regs only provide a baseline of protection. The SOGA, as amended, now contains everything the EU provides as a minimum, plus more.

Some other countries have legislation which exceeds the EU minimum - such as Italy. The Apple case in Italy was due to Italy's Consumer Legislation, not specifically the EU Regs. Hence why the case was solely in Italy, and not EU-wide.

Again, the UK are fully compliant with the 2002 EU Regs. There is no cover in the EU Regs which we don't have. The EU have taken action against the member states who have not applied these Regs, and the UK isn't one of them.

I did warn in my last post it was long and boring! Smile

Big Blue,

You need to check out EU Directive 1994/44/EU where this 'A two-year guarantee applies for the sale of all consumer goods everywhere in the EU. In some countries, this may be more, and some manufacturers also choose to offer a longer warranty period.' can be found

It  is much better worded than our SOGA rights because it does not require the consumer to prove a manufacturing fault after 6 months.  You do have to make a claim within 2 months of becoming aware of the fault.  

There have been a number of prosecutions within the EU, in Italy of Apple who were fined @ 900,000 euros for example, for not providing the 2 year warranty.  Some countries are less robust in their enforcement of this Directive, step forward UK, but that does not remove or diminish an EU individuals rights.  If you have to sue, then the Courts will support you.  It is little wonder that there is so much confusion when Trading Standards do not promote the EU 2 year Directive.

This is pretty irrelevent really, if you understand your rights!    It may be nice to have, but ...

Under the Sale of Goods Act the seller is responsible, irrespective of manufacturer or even their own 'guarantees' or warranties.   Depending on the cost of the item, you could expect them to be responsible for more than a two year or even five year guarantee anyway.

I think some retailers exploit the fact that most people don't really understand their rights.

Relocated - You understand it incorrectly I'm afraid. 

The UK is fully compliant with the EU regs you refer to. It has been for over a decade. The problem is that there's a common misconception about what the EU regs provide. 

Rather than type a long and boring explanation, it's easier just to say that everything we're entitled to (all that's in the EU regs and more) is in the SOGA and the limitation is 6 years. The '2 year warranty on everything' idea is oft-repeated but inaccurate.

it's quite possible they say to retailers "we're the biggest electronics retailer in the UK, the cost of doing business with us is that you give us a free [2/5] year warranty on your products for the benefit of our customers".

It's quite possible that john lewis subsidise the warranty with other goods they sell in the shop and not just by the electricles they sell.

I fully accept that guarantees don't come for free, but John Lewis advertises it as "free".

If you decline to take the guarantee, they don't discount the price. On that basis, it's slightly disingenuous to say they'll only price match the cost of "JL product + near-obligatory FREE guarantee" against "other retailer's product + optional COSTLY guarantee".

Assuming they apply the same logic to their new 2 year electronics guarantee, they've effectively excluded all electronics from the price-match.

But I think that's fair. You're getting a 5 year guarantee, which is a lot more worth than buying a TV with 1 year warranty. Guarantees don't come for free.

JL price match is a bit of hit & miss. Sometimes they consider like for like (including warranty & delivery costs) & sometimes they don't.

Isn't this a wheeze to avoid having to price-match? "Never Knowingly Undersold" only applies to a like-for-like deal.

By way of a worked example:
Sony TV is £1000 at JL, but £950 at Richer Sounds.

JL won't price match as, to get the same benefit as their "Free" 5 year guarantee, you'd need to spend an extra £95 (i.e. £1,045) at Richer Sounds for their tv inclusive of supercare.

As I understand it, ALL products sold within the EU have to be warrantied for two years.
In all the areas of life where government interferes needlessly and yet they have never really pushed manufacturers and retailers over this piece of useful EU law.
Our Supreme Court has held that we Brits have up to six years cover provided certain conditions are met.
None of the above is a criticism of JL, I have always found them to be exceptional, pity they stand so tall in the desolation of too many useless retailers.

John Lewis is one of my preferred retailers. Lakeland leads here though, by allowing returns for the lifetime of the products it sells, and it doesn't even have to be faulty!

The top dog getting better.