Consumer market experts in Charleston will tell you that it is good practice to ensure that anytime you make a significant purchase, that a warranty be associated with it. In many cases, items will come with an express warranty from a manufacturer that clearly spells out the circumstances under which it will cover the cost of repairing or replacing its product. Such warranties leave little room for interpretation. Retailers will sometimes also offer their own express warranties. Yet even in cases where they do not, implied warranties may still offer you some degree of protection.
An implied warranty is one that automatically comes with the sale of goods. A seller does not have to state it when selling you a product because its provisions are implied in it offering up the product for purchase. According to the American Bar Association, there are three distinct types of implied warranties:
- Warranty of merchantability
- Warranty of fitness for a particular purpose
- Warranty of title and against infringement
An implied warranty of merchantability mandates that a product is fit to perform the ordinary purposes for which it is used. For example, if you buy an oven, the expectation is that the oven is in working condition. If not (and it is not communicated to you that you are buying it “as is”), then the seller is liable for its repair or replacement. A warranty of fitness for a particular purpose is similar in that if a seller promises that an item can perform a certain function (e.g., the oven you buy is self-cleaning), it has to be able to do that.
A warranty of title and against infringement requires that a seller is indeed authorized to sell a product and that its sale does not infringe in the right of a third party.