Expensive extended warranties sold with electrical goods look set to fall under fresh scrutiny by consumer rights activists and the Office of Fair Trading - The Observer
The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations - which came into force because of an EU directive at the end of May 2008 - prohibit the 'selling' of rights that people already have in law. But some consumer rights groups argue that extended warranties often do just this, playing on consumers' ignorance. Marc Gander, a founder member of the Consumer Action Group, believes many extended warranties trick consumers into buying insurance that offers them little or no better protection than they already have by law. 'Extended warranties are often an expensive rip-off,' he says. 'These goods are supposed to work for a certain length of time, so what a great trick it is to get consumers to buy an extended warranty in case a product goes wrong too early.'