Commercial or manufacturer’s warranty

As a consumer you are entitled to a two-year legal guarantee for which the responsibility rests with the seller. But sometimes a producer or manufacturer may offer an extra guarantee: the commercial warranty or manufacturer‘s warranty. This warranty is not mandatory by law. Manufacturers are free to offer this warranty as well as under which conditions.

What can you expect? ECC Belgium answers the following questions.

Do you have a manufacturer’s warranty?

The commercial warranty or the manufacturer’s warranty is not mandatory by law, but does need to be offered in writing. Examine your invoice, the documents accompanying the product, the websites of the seller and the manufacturer to find out if you are eligible for such a warranty. If you are not, you will still be entitled to the two-year legal guarantee.

Does the manufacturer have a representative in your country?

The conditions of this commercial warranty may differ from country to country. Before you make a purchase, look carefully if the manufacturer has a firm in our country, all the more so if you intend to purchase a large product (such as a washing machine). It is easier for a mechanic of the manufacturer to visit you than to send the product back to the seller when you make a claim under the two-year legal guarantee.

What does the manufacturer’s warranty consist of?

Since a producer is free to use his own terms and conditions, he is allowed to offer a commercial warranty which is more limited than the legal guarantee. The commercial warranty may, for example, be valid for one year only, or exclude certain parts of an article.

What costs do you pay?

Be careful before you make a claim under the commercial or manufacturer’s warranty. Some costs (return costs, certain parts, hours of work, etc.) may be charged to you. If this is the case, it is advisable to contact the seller to claim under the two-year legal guarantee.

Should you contact the seller or the manufacturer?

After you have made a purchase, you are entitled to a two-year legal guarantee – even if you also have a commercial warranty. If your product is defective, make sure to contact the seller who is responsible for the legal guarantee and remember that the commercial warranty remains an option. Only invoke this warranty if you are sure it will benefit you.

If you decide to invoke the two-year legal guarantee, the seller is not allowed to refer you to the manufacturer. Only use the commercial warranty or manufacturer’s warranty if it benefits you to do so. 

Exception: if you bought a product longer than 6 months ago, and you notice it is no longer working properly, it will still often be easier to invoke the commercial warranty instead of the legal guarantee.