Transferability of Warranties

Date: November 10, 2010
Posted In: DLP Law

The Smiths had just purchased the Jones\’ house and were thrilled to move in. The house was only four years old and was in great shape. Unfortunately, when Mrs. Smith went to take a shower, there was no hot water and it quickly became apparent that the hot water heater had to be replaced. The Smiths contacted the Jones\’ and found out that the hot water heater had a ten year guarantee. The Jones\’ provided the Smiths with the warranty. Unfortunately, when the Smiths contacted the manufacturer, they were advised that since they were not the purchasers of the hot water heater that the guarantee did not apply.

ISSUE: Are the Smiths out of luck?

ANSWER: Yes. In all likelihood they are. Many times guarantees on products are not transferrable from the purchaser to someone else. This applies to many items. Despite the fact that there was six years left on the guarantee from the manufacturer, because the language in the guarantee stated specifically that it was only to the original purchaser, the Smiths will have to buy a new water heater. When making these types of purchases, one could always request a transferability of the guarantee to cover situations like this. Many times manufacturers will oblige, especially if their product is of quality craftsmanship.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.