Will labour to replace a faulty product be covered?

Hi everyone, I bought a bathroom heater that had 10 year warranty. I had it wall installed by an electrician. The install came with a Certificate of Compliance which alone costs $25. The heater has just died after just a year. I don't see a problem with getting a replacement from the shop, but in this instance I'll need to get an electrician to remove the old one, install the new one, and issue a new COC, which will be a couple of hundy (2 trips, with all the associated call-out fees, hourly and travel typically charged by tradies). Will the manufacturer cover the labour cost in this case? What does the CGA say? Thanks.


  • +2

    Its worth calling the manufacturer.
    Im not sure with a wall heater, but I know for several other household fixtures they will send out their own tradie to replace/repair.

    • this is what I know of too. Should contact the manufacturer first. However, I have some faults on electrical gate motor [BFT brand] and importer (not manufacturer I understand) confirmed my installer has gone under and gave me a list of their tradies in my area. Therefore, the inspection cost and repair costs still on me.

  • No help to you now, but for what its worth, and for others reading this later, for things like this, I tend to get the installer to supply the product.

    That way, you have a single contract with a single 'supplier', and if there is a problem, you only have one party to deal with.

    If I want a particular product, I just ask the installers to quote me both on that product, and if they think there is a better option, then quote me on that one too (which gives me a chance of finding something better as well). Sometimes the installer says they can't quote me on what I want, and if I got that too much, I would likely reconsider the product.

    • Got a long list of things to do around the house, so the sparky preferred to just do the labour. He basically said if I wanted him to supply I had to pay him to go to the shop, plus a markup. Then all the back and forth time between quotes he'd need to recover somehow. So in the end I just bought all the appliances myself. I trusted him so just let him turn up and do the work on an hourly basis, no quotes. (He turned out a very reliable, competent, overall good value for money tradie.) I didn't want to have to pay for installation costs so often so I bought a good quality brand, that came with 10 year warranty, which is another indicator of quality…

      • I completely agree - there are no free lunches, and a saving up front will often cost more down the track.

  • +2

    Yes, the CGA covers losses incurred by you in replacing faulty goods - ie an electrician to reinstall a new heater.
    Your first point of call is to the retailer where you purchased the heater. Explain what has happened and ask them to arrange a replacement.
    You can try the manufacturer if you have no joy with them but your first call should be to the retailer.
    They need to be given an opportunity to fix the problem before you go about getting it fixed yourself.
    Provide them with as much information as you can - purchase receipts, the COC certificate, even quotes to have it replaced.
    Hopefully they will come to the party and arrange to have a replacement heater installed.
    However, if you still have no luck then you can pay to get it fixed yourself and then ask them to reimburse your costs. You can go to the disputes tribunal if they are not forthcoming.

    • Thanks. I found the warranty card of the heater, it says it won't cover labour. However it doesn't matter if the CGA says otherwise. Do you have the relevant text from the CGA?

      • I won't have a chance until later to see if I can find the relevant parts.
        However, it is to do with consequential loss/costs which you will incur in order to get the faulty heater fixed or replaced. I don't believe it would be seen as reasonable for you to have to remove the heater yourself.

        Another useful place to go for advice is your local Citizens Advice Bureau
        It's free to use and they might be able to help point you in the right direction.

  • +1

    Be aware that the main reason for heaters dying is they overheat and blow the thermal fuse. In bathrooms mostly because they get blocked. You'd be surprised at the amount of crap that gets sucked in. This wouldn't be covered by CGA or warranty, and you won't know until they've come and looked at it.

    Check for lint around the intake (you probably can't see it, stick your hand under the heater).

  • The CGA is very powerful. Basically you can't be left worse of than you were before you made your claim. You have to be fixed up to the point where you have not lost anything. So no, you wouldn't need to pay for labour. (All assuming that the item is indeed faulty)

    It's quite extreme. I mean if your faulty heater also left a dirty great smoke mark up the side of your wall or fell off the wall and smashed the floor tiles. The CGA says that also has to be fixed at no cost to you. This is covered by the "Consequential Loss" part of the Act.

    • Thanks. Could you please tell me which section mentions "consequential loss"? Is it 18? https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0091/latest/...

      • +2

        Probably easier just to use the attached guide
        It's published by MBIE and explains much clearer than having to search through the legislation.

        Your example is closest to that listed on page 22 and they outline a recommended process for resolution from page 26 onwards.

        • Thanks. Wish me luck! :)

          • +1

            @sunshinenz: Good luck.
            Don't be surprised if you get rejected first time around. Just need to stick to the complaint process in the guide and I'm sure you will get there in the end.

        • Good link :-)

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