FTC doubles length of smartphone warranties

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FTC doubles length of smartphone warranties

Smartphone users can rest a bit easier as warranty periods have now been extended following changes to the Fair Trade Commission’s (FTC) standard for consumer dispute resolutions.

The corporate watchdog said Wednesday it has changed its consumer dispute guidelines by extending the warranty period for smartphones to two years from the existing one year warranty and established a new two-year warranty on motherboard components for laptops.

While the FTC’s guidelines are not legally enforced, they are followed by a majority of businesses and used by the Korea Consumer Agency to resolve disputes. Korea’s warranty policy has faced criticism as it has lagged behind other markets such as the European Union, which has a minimum two-year guarantee for faulty goods. The FTC said there have been requests from consumers to change the existing one-year warranty period considering the majority of smartphone users who are tied to two-year payment contracts.

While the guideline changes ensure a two-year warranty on smartphones, batteries will continue to remain under a one-year warranty as they are consumable parts. The new warranty period for smartphones will be in effect from the start of next year to allow manufacturers to prepare for component supplies.

The FTC also established new guidelines for motherboard components for laptops to be under a two-year warranty, identical to the existing warranty on motherboards on desktop computers.

The watchdog addressed complaints on differing compensation rates for delays on different rail services. All rail users will now be provided with compensation at 12.5 percent of the ticket price for rail delays of more than 20 minutes and less than 40 minutes, 25 percent for delays less than an hour and 50 percent for delays longer than an hour.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]
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