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Case studies - Company claimed it could do nothing as the product was out of warranty

Sales of breadmakers have shot up in the past few years as many more of us look to enjoy the taste and smell of fresh homemade bread. But you’d expect to get more than a few months’ use out of a new breadmaker. 

When David Robertson paid £102.38 for a Panasonic breadmaker, he was irritated when it broke down twice in the first 18 months. 

As his son is gluten intolerant, David researched breadmakers carefully and bought a model with a gluten-free program. However, he was unhappy with the breadmaker from the start, as all the bread it made came out misshapen. But things got worse after just 15 months’ use when the only two programs he’d been using failed.

What David did next

He contacted Panasonic and was told that as the machine was out of warranty, it could do nothing for him. Unhappy with the customer service he received, David contacted us for advice.

Which? Legal advice

We advised him that as his warranty was only for a year, Panasonic had no liability. However, we told him that he had a claim under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 because the breadmaker was not of satisfactory quality.


Armed with this information, he approached Amazon, who had sold him the breadmaker, and it agreed to give him a replacement for free.

Legal points

David had a claim even though he’d had the breadmaker for 15 months and it was out of warranty. The Sale of Goods Act says that goods sold must be of satisfactory quality and durability. In this case, the breadmaker didn’t last as long as a buyer would reasonably expect. The remedy under the Act is for a repair or a replacement that must be carried out within a reasonable period of time and without causing significant inconvenience.

As David had paid for the breadmaker with his credit card, he could also have made a claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. If you’ve paid by credit card for goods worth more than £100 but not exceeding £30,000, you can ask for a refund from the credit card provider.