Braxton came across a great deal while shopping for a new freezer. However, being a good Consumerist, he writes that he went home and researched the product before handing over any money. What he learned was that the freezer had no warranty…a fact that Home Depot conveniently forgot to disclose.
I recently went into my local Home Depot and found a freezer I really like.
I had been looking casually for a while, but this popped up practically
overnight and I thought “SCORE!” I talked to the sales guy and he said they
had several in the back and that they had just got them in. They were on
sale at an “introductory” price.
All sounds good. I figure though, that I
should do my homework before committing any funds. What did I find? The
company that made the freezer went bankrupt back in Sept and declared on
Sept 12th that all warranties were null and void. Home Depot has disclosed
none of this and is obviously trying to sell the last of their stock. They
are basically selling these “as-is”.
My questions is, is there any law against this or perhaps one requiring Home Depot to disclose this (if nothing else) as an “as-is” item with no warranty?
Yes. Implied warranty laws differ by state, but they ensure that when consumers buy things, they will work. You can generally expect to bring a freezer home, plug it in, and it will get cold inside. As the FTC explains:
The implied warranty of merchantability is a merchant’s basic promise that the goods sold will do what they are supposed to do and that there is nothing significantly wrong with them.
Saying that a product is sold as-is gets the retailer and manufacturer around that. But that’s the problem. They have to tell you. It would be interesting to know whether Home Depot disclosed the situation to customers as they were about to purchase the freezers–if not, the store could be in some serious trouble.