Self-Help Measures

The FTC recommends that consumers take several steps in order to minimize problems that they may have with respect to warranties. These steps include the following:

  • Read the Warranty Before Buying an Item: Consumers should read a seller’s full warranty and understand exactly what protection the warrant offers.
  • Consider a Company’s Reputation: Consumers who are unfamiliar with a company should consult with a local or state consumer protection office or Better Business Bureau.
  • Save Receipts Along with the Warranty: The receipt may be necessary to document that the a consumer is the original owner.
  • Perform Maintenance and Inspections That Are Required by the Warranty.
  • Use the Product According to Instructions Provided by the Manufacturer: Some forms of abuse or misuse of a product could void a warranty.
  • Attempt to Resolve a Problem Directly with the Seller.
  • Consider Filing a Claim in Small Claims Court: A dispute that involves less than a relatively small amount of money, such as $750, may be resolved in small claims court. Costs in small claims court are usually low, procedures are relatively simple, and lawyers are not necessary.

The FTC provides additional information at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/consumer.htm.


    Inside Self-Help Measures