Believe it or not, it isn’t actually all that common to get a warranty failure on a spare part. In fact, it’s pretty uncommon really.
Claiming that a part has failed inside any warranty period though can be difficult and getting a replacement or refund impractical at best most often, even when it’s not appliance parts, we’ll try to explain why that is the case.
The first thing to keep in mind, however, is that spare parts are not "consumer goods", they are not intended to be diagnosed, ordered or replaced by untrained operatives at all and the definition of "trained" or "competent" is set by the manufacturers, not us and not you so largely as soon as you lift a screwdriver or order a part up, it's all on you to make sure it's correct!
First off, even with a brand spanking new part, other components or problems can cause a new part to fail immediately on or shortly after it is replaced.
To get a faulty new part is virtually unheard of and the odds of it so remote as most any supplier will discount it unless there have been multiple failures as in general terms, if one’s faulty, they’re all faulty!
This is why we often will ask people when they are looking for a part if they’re sure, as in really, really sure on some spare parts that it is what they need and all the more on things like control modules and some other stuff as there are parts that are frequently misdiagnosed as being a problem when they’re not.
And, as we look across multiple suppliers both in the UK and further afield we can see what’s stocked and what’s not so you will often get a feel for if a part tends to fail or not. Where we see high stock levels, we know it’s fairly common, where hardly any suppliers stock it including the manufacturer and/or the levels are low we know it’s not a common failing part. Wherever we can, we advise people of this as we really don’t want to sell people stuff they don’t need.
But if you get a part, plug it all in and it pops or doesn’t solve the problem it’s almost a sure thing that the issue has been misdiagnosed.
That’s why we advise on such things and one of the reasons we encourage people to ask about parts.
From most manufacturers, if they get a part back and see it’s wrecked or blown up, they know that’s the issue and not a part that has been faulty. All the more so if they only have one that’s gone that way.
For parts that have been fitted for some time, you or we need to be able to prove beyond doubt that the component was faulty and that the failure was not due to some other problem.
This is a strange quirk in spare parts as it isn’t just as simple as buying a toaster or something and it just breaking as a finished product like that is self-contained, it’s in isolation and demonstrating that it no longer works due to some sort of failure is relatively easy compared to a spare part failure.
Spare part failures are very often not failures at all but a problem with the fitting of them or something else being busted causing it to fail.
Spare Parts Warranty Claims
Almost all spare parts suppliers will need the part back for inspection before they honour any claim at all for the reasons given above.
Just like the toaster we used above, you can’t just contact the company and tell them it’s faulty and to send another one. Normally that will not happen just as it wouldn’t for much of anything else that is claimed to be faulty, the retailer or manufacturer will want to be assured that the goods are faulty and that it is a valid warranty claim before they do much of anything.
To expect either the manufacturer or retailer to just send another without the opportunity to inspect is honestly unreasonable.
Some people (including the repair guys at times) think that they should be able to get a replacement part and send back the old faulty one at zero cost to them and, that’s not how it works in almost all cases.
It doesn’t work like that for the reasons above, it’s really an unreasonable ask.
Of course, all this takes time and, when you’re sat with a busted appliance you need back up and running all this isn’t exactly convenient and everybody gets that. But with easily 95% or more of warranty claims for faulty spare parts not being valid, spare part retailers and manufacturers are unlikely to alter the way they work.
The fastest way to sort it out normally is to order a replacement and pay for it, then send the one you suspect is faulty back for inspection and credit/refund if it proves to be genuinely faulty.
Not So Simple
We hope this helps people to understand why that claiming a part was faulty when supplied or after months and even years of it being in operation is not as simple as you might initially think it to be.
Over the years we have tried many times to get manufacturers to honour a warranty claims on a part, with many of the repairers at times even trying to reclaim the labour costs for replacing a faulty part and, to date, we’ve never seen any success other than where it’s been a widespread problem that everyone is aware of.
Even then, any claim for costs like the labour element to go back and replace the faulty part we’ve never seen honoured. Like, never ever as we’d just get told that any consequential loss or damage isn’t covered so, tough. And that’s the guys that are experts being told that!
The vibe we usually get from most manufacturers and spare parts suppliers are that after you buy a part, you’re pretty much on your own.
If you want a warranty on them then you should have them professionally installed by an “approved” repairer or the company itself or they probably won’t want to know about it.
Of course, they have legal obligations and they will indeed meet them but, that doesn’t mean to say that they have to make it easy!
At times all this frustrates us as much as it does the public but we do understand why things are the way that they are and we have to reluctantly concede that there are good reasons for most of it.