In this Nov. 26, 2021, file photo, a Black Friday shopper wearing a face mask leaves a store with a TV in Pic Rivera, California. Credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP

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Mainers should educate themselves on “Chapter 04: Consumer Goods and Maine Express and implied Warranty Laws.” This is a law that any product (except used cars) bought in Maine is warrantied against defect for four years — not the one year that manufactures include. And people can claim against either the retailer or manufacturer.

The basic test to see if you qualify is: First, the item is seriously defective; second, the consumer did not damage the item; third, the item is still within its useful life.

My 2-year-old washer malfunctioned. The appliance store in Bangor I bought it from would not honor this warranty. The store wanted me to pay a $165 fee before anyone would come to my home to diagnose the problem. And then the store would only fix it if the attorney general told it that it had to. This is not the law.

I did two things. I made a complaint through the Maine attorney general’s office and I contacted the manufacturer. The manufacturer sent a repair person to diagnose and fix the problem, no argument, no jumping through hoops, all at no charge to me.

If someone has a product that does not work as it should, they should not accept that their 1-year warranty has run out. They should know the law and know their rights, and if all else fails, file a complaint with the attorney general’s office.

Sandra Sullivan