Jennifer Newton explains what the small print means when you buy a kitchen
Bear in mind that before a guarantee is issued, you already have rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. This gives you six years to make a claim for faulty goods in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – five years in Scotland. If you’re making a claim six or more months after your purchase, you must prove the fault was there at the time of buying rather than simple wear and tear.
‘It’s a good idea to ask the retailer how a guarantee offers more protection than your statutory rights,’ says Kevin Grix, who is head of The Furniture Ombudsman. ‘Ask which parts of the kitchen are covered by the guarantee and to what extent. Will a repair or replacement be offered in case of a problem? Which eventualities are covered – accidental damage, fire and flooding and general wear and tear? The length of a guarantee should be considered, but it is important to put it in context. A two-year guarantee that covers accidental damage may be better than one lasting five years that doesn’t.’
What’s on offer?
Installation: Three years – if a door falls off or a cabinet comes loose during this period, IKEA will replace it.
Kitchen units and products: 25 years for Faktum frames, fronts and integral hinges; Rationell interior products, such as fully-extending drawers, plinths, legs and drawers under ovens; plus Bravad and Värde freestanding kitchen ranges for defects in materials and workmanship on all parts.
Appliances: Five-year guarantee on ‘for IKEA from Whirlpool’.
Our verdict: IKEA has FIRA Gold certification for installation on some kitchens. Knobs, handles and worktops that are less than 3.8cm thick are not covered.
John Lewis (johnlewis.com)
Installation: One year – if a customer encounters any difficulty concerning installation within the first year, John Lewis will return to identify the problem and resolve it, if covered in the guarantee.
Kitchen units and products: Five years, covering everything from cabinets to all the fittings.
Appliances: Free three-year guarantee on all John Lewis branded large electrical appliances. Other large electrical appliances come with a two-year guarantee.
Our verdict: FIRA has checked for materials and components, but not on installation. All John Lewis installations come with Gas Safe and Part P certificates for all gas and electrical work needed.
Installation: Two years – problems within two years not due to wear and tear or malicious damage will be repaired by Wickes.
Kitchen units and products: 15-year guarantee for ‘to order cabinets’, 10 years for ‘takeaway kitchens’ for the fascias. All Wickes kitchen products are guaranteed against manufacturing defects for five years.
Appliances: Zanussi and Electrolux appliances come with a one-year manufacturer’s guarantee. AEG and Rangemaster come with a two-year guarantee.
Verdict: Wickes has FIRA Gold certification for kitchens supplied by Gower – but not for takeaway kitchens.
|What is FIRA certification?|
All prices and estimates correct at time of publishing