Warranties promise repair or replacement of broken or defective products for a certain amount of time after purchase. Many items today come with warranties, either with the purchase or for an extra fee.

However, just because businesses offer warranties does not mean they will honor them. What do you do if going through customer service does not resolve the issue? Is there legal recourse?

Two main types of warranties

Warranties are either express or implied. Express ones come as spoken or written. They automatically come into being when salespeople provide descriptions, promise something or showcase models or samples. Implied warranties may be further subdivided into implied warranties of merchantability or implied warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. The first kind assure that the supplied merchandise must fulfill their designed purposes for a limited time. The second kind entails three things. The seller knows why you bought something, selects that something specifically to fit your purpose and knows why you are using his or her judgment rather than your own.

The Magnuson Moss Warranty-Federal Trade Commission Improvements Act

This federal law oversees product warranties and covers all states. It allows the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, to create rules for writing warranties. It also requires that companies include certain detailed information in warranties in a non-confusing manner. It also protects consumers from deception. The act allows you to file a lawsuit over a defective product. If the warranty forces you to exhaust informal resolution options first, you must do so before filing.

Massachusetts law

In Massachusetts everything sold by a merchant has an implied warranty of merchantability by default. This does not apply for non-merchant sellers.

There are laws governing warranties. If you encounter a warranty issue you may be able to file a lawsuit.