Spain is forcing phone makers to give you an extra year of warranty
A ruling by the Council of Ministers of the Government of Spain will require products sold in the country to come with a three-year warranty, up from the two years that was previously required. The extended warranty period will apply to products sold by both Apple and Samsung, among other companies, meaning consumers will get longer basic coverage against things like manufacturing defects.
According to a report from iPadizate (via Phone Arena), the new standard is included in a Royal Decree-law, and is designed to to provide new rights and guarantees to consumers. In addition to extending the limited warranty period from two to three years, the new regulations will also make spare parts for products available for a minimum of 10 years. This will provide consumers with more opportunity to fix the products they own, even if they’re no longer available to purchase.
Speaking of which, the regulations will set the durability of a product as an objective criterion. If a product does not exhibit the durability both parties (customer and company) agreed to in a purchase contract, the customer can decide if they want their product repaired or replaced. This is presumably meant to ensure companies hold themselves to a higher standard during the manufacturing process; if something degrades more than it should after you purchase it you’ll have certain protections. (I would seriously like to speak with the company that made my last fridge, which lasted only a few years.)
The new regulations in Spain also increase a period from three years to five years in which consumers can exercise their rights to make a claim. Meanwhile, the new regulations for the first time applies to digital content, including video games, cloud software, and more. Digital content and other services must be offered immediately after it’s purchased, which may mean that you will no longer have the opportunity to pre-order digital video games.
In places like the U.S., companies like Apple typically offer a one-year limited warranty that covers manufacturing defects. In the UK, Apple also includes a one-year warranty on purchases for things like the iPhone and iPad, but consumers are afforded more rights. By extending the limited warranty period to three years in Spain, consumers won’t have to worry as much about manufacturing defects when purchasing a product, whether it’s a printer, tablet, or smartphone.
It’s unclear how these new regulations will influence policies in other regions throughout the world. But a longer limited warranty policy for products could build more trust between consumers and companies, and ensure that resources that go into quality assurance testing creates products that are less prone to failing.