JB Hi-Fi faces class action over extended warranties

Electronics giant JB Hi-Fi is facing a class action lawsuit over its extended warranties’ policy, with an Australian law firm claiming the warranties are “worthless”.

The lawsuit has been filed by law firm Maurice Blackburn, which alleges JB Hi-Fi has been selling customers unnecessary extended warranties for more than a decade.

The law firm cited a recent analysis by consumer advocates Choice which found that in most cases, paying for an extended warranty was “probably not” worth it, as purchases were already protected under Australian law.

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It said the analysis showed the warranties were essentially “worthless”.

However the firm noted that a 2023 survey revealed 32 per cent of consumers had bought them at one time or another.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Principal Miranda Nagy said the class action was looking to obtain refunds for those who had purchased these warranties that were allegedly of little or no value.

“These warranties are in most cases little more than a junk add-on to consumers’ purchase of the household goods they actually want,” Nagy said.

“JB’s extended warranties expire just three to six years after purchase, but they add substantially to the cost.

“Our case alleges they added nothing meaningful to the strong rights for repair, replacement or refund under the Australian consumer law — rights that consumers already enjoy.”

According to the class action, JB Hi-Fi used “misleading or deceptive conduct or unconscionable conduct” in selling its extended warranties.

This allegedly included staff telling customers, either directly or by implying, that the extended warranties were of value, operated for longer than the rights under the Australian consumer law and provided benefits that the Australian consumer law did not.

The lawsuit also alleges the retail giant failed to give customers information about their rights under Australian consumer law, and so they were not properly informed when deciding whether to buy an extended warranty.

Who can get involved?

A customer is classed as a “group member” in the JB Hi-Fi Class Action if they bought an extended warranty from JB Hi-Fi in-store or online in Australia any time between January 1, 2011 and December 8, 2023.

The extended warranty is also known as Customer Care, Extended Care and Extra Care.

Group members include those who have made a claim under the warranty and those whose warranty has expired.

There is no sign-up process to become involved, customers are automatically part of the group if they purchased an extended warranty over that time.

7NEWS.com.au has contacted JB Hi-Fi for comment.


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