If you’re an Australian who purchased a smart TV during the last few years there’s a 99% chance it’s a smart TV with built-in apps like Netflix, STAN, Youtube and more.
While basic smart TV’s are available for under a $1000 now there are plenty of options much more expensive than that from several $1000 to $10000 plus for large premium models.
However you might not be aware that the manufacturer warranty offered for Smart TV’s varies a lot between the 5 biggest TV brands in Australia if your TV fails.
3 years manufacturer warranty: Hisense, TCL
1 year manufacturer warranty: Samsung, LG, Sony
As an example of manufacturer warranties that are good, the Hisense TV I had purchased 2 years stopped turning on in late January this year. I called the Hisense Australia tech support line, sent them proof of purchase and they sent their technician out to replace the main board 2 days later. The TV has been working fine since then.
Several manufacturers including brands that sell the most expensive TV’s only stand by their product with a 1 year manufacturer warranty where you can call them, prove your purchase date is less than a year ago and get a hardware fault fixed for free without arguments.
These manufacturers say that’s fine don’t worry, Australia has strong consumer and fair trading laws that will protect you if your expensive TV dies or has a major fault after a year or even more than 2 years from purchase date.
From what readers have told me over the last few years that’s only true sometimes.
Some (not all) salespeople at the big retailers and again some (not all) call centre staff for the big TV brands try to avoid fixing or offering a fair partial refund for a broken product and attempt to convince customers to buy a new TV instead.
It’s important when you’re buying expensive products like TV’s to know your Australian consumer law rights.
it is reasonable to expect that an expensive television should not develop a serious fault after 13 months of normal use. In this case, the consumer could argue the item was not of merchantable quality and ask for it to be repaired, even if the manufacturer’s voluntary warranty had expired.
A recent court case about TV warranties covered by the SMH:
“highlights a flaw in Australian consumer law: companies that sell you goods and services are not required to tell you any of this [consumer law rights] should what they sell you become defective, putting the onus on you to know your rights”
ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said about the court decision:
“When consumers buy products, they come with a consumer guarantee under the Australian Consumer Law that they will be of acceptable quality. Manufacturer’s warranties exist in addition to the consumer guarantee rights”.
“Consumers will often still be entitled under the consumer guarantee to a repair, refund or replacement when the manufacturer’s warranty does not apply or has come to an end”.
Please let us know in the comments what your experience has been like with the big TV manufacturers for technical support during the manufacturer warranty period and after it has finished.