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CCPA Engages Electronic Appliance Manufacturers on Warranty Period Reforms

New Delhi: The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) convened a significant meeting with representatives from major electronic appliance manufacturing companies to address the pressing issue of warranty periods commencing from the date of purchase rather than the date of installation. This discrepancy often results in a reduced effective warranty period for consumers, who can only begin using the product after its installation.

The meeting, chaired by Smt. Nidhi Khare, Chief Commissioner of the CCPA, included participants from leading companies such as Reliance Retail, L.G., Panasonic, Haier, Croma, and Bosch.

In her opening remarks, Chief Commissioner Smt. Khare underscored three critical points:

  1. Transparency for Consumers: Consumers should be clearly informed about when the warranty period starts. It should not be a post-purchase discovery.
  2. Adopting Global Best Practices: Companies should ensure that the warranty policies in India align with global best practices.
  3. Proactive Grievance Redressal: Consumer complaints related to warranty periods should be addressed promptly and effectively.

Smt. Khare emphasized that consumer rights, as defined under Section 2(9) of the Consumer Protection Act, include the right to be informed about various aspects of products and services, protecting consumers from unfair trade practices.

The meeting noted that electronic appliances fall into two categories: ‘plug-n-play’ products, such as irons and microwaves, which do not require installation, and products requiring installation, such as air conditioners and refrigerators. The discussion centered on the feasibility of starting the warranty period from the installation date for the latter category.

The feasibility of commencing the warranty period from the installation date was thoroughly discussed, along with measures to prevent potential abuse of this system while ensuring consumer interests are adequately protected.

A general consensus emerged among the company representatives to address the issue proactively, keeping consumer concerns at the forefront. The companies were requested to submit their detailed views and suggestions within 15 days.

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