MURKY WARRANTY WATERS
There is a new warranty issue raising its head in Australia's RV marketplace.
I would describe it as a split warranty, where the caravan manufacturer's warranty policy is limited to the caravan itself and does not include the major appliances.
That responsibility falls to the item builder or supplier. What precisely is covered is all a bit grey until you lodge a claim.
The warranty department will either arrange for the remedial work or arrange for the warranty department for the failed product to call you.
If things are clear cut and obvious, there's usually no issue. When things are a bit murky and the problem is less obvious, the finger pointing and 'duck shoving' starts and the customer gets lost in the middle and, in my case, stuck with an underperforming refrigerator, that nobody wants to fix.
I have a full email trail to show these events, as well as documented evidence that shows two faults existed, one by the caravan manufacturer and another one by the refrigerator manufacturer and an eight-day realistic test which demonstrates the fridge can only maintain a 25C temperature differential between the fridge compartment internal temperature and outside ambient temperatures.
So, on days over 30C, the unit cannot maintain a food-safe temperature of 4C.
Unfortunately, I reside in the western suburbs of Brisbane and I can count on one finger on one hand the number of days below 30C in the last six months. This is an early 2018 build caravan delivered April 10, first issue with fridge June 6 after about three weeks' use.
This type of event is not isolated and becoming more frequent as more manufacturers hide in murky warranty conditions. This warranty policy was not in force when I ordered the van in October 2018 and I was not notified of the new policy until after delivery.
All other warranty issues have been dealt with promptly and efficiently. Just this one issue. A replacement unit is $3500 on the retail market last time I looked, plus labour costs.
Replacement is the way I will have to go as I cannot afford a court challenge, or worse, afford to lose.
Justice in court comes at too high a price: a new fridge (compressor this time) is the cheaper alternative.