SALE OF GOODS ACT
It works like this. For the first four-five weeks you have a "right of rejection" - if the item you've bought breaks down, you can demand a refund.
For the next six months, you are entitled to replacement or repair of the goods. It is up to the retailer to prove there was nothing wrong with it if they wish to get out of having to do the work. And then after six months, there is still a duty to replace or repair faulty goods, but the onus is on you, the consumer, to prove that there was something wrong.
And the key time span is six years. That's how long goods may be covered by the Sale of Goods Act. It all depends on what "sufficiently durable" means. If a light bulb goes after 13 months, the consumer is not going to be overly gutted. If their washing machine goes after the same time span they are going to be livid.
The government's guidelines say: "Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the price and any description."
And be aware that if you go to the washing machine repairer, spend money attempting to diagnose an inherent fault, and find out you have been using it the wrong way, then you are going to be out of pocket.
A key fact is that your relationship in the Sale of Goods Act is with the retailer, not the manufacturer.
"The retailer likes shepherding you off to the manufacturer," says Dr Twigg-Flesner.
And there are still reasons why you might want an extended warranty - they often include loan machines and ongoing technical support that you would otherwise miss out on. But they are not always good value, says Dr Twigg-Flesner.
"I've never bought one."