Good thoughts. There are definitely cases where an implied warranty is important (I’ll list an example at the end where I totally agree with this, after I share why it’s generally challenging to do).
Note, I am not a lawyer and am only speaking from my experience of working in a law firm as an assistant, but I am not giving any specific legal advice here, particularly since each state varies a lot. Just sharing my personal opinion that it can be extremely challenging to prove either of the 2 types of implied warranty.
For the Implied Warranty of Merchantability you have to prove that an electronic failed to meet reasonable expectations (not abnormal or entitled expectations, but reasonable ones), which can be challenging for any electronic that is already covered by a 1 year warranty of 24/7 use, knowing that most electronics already wear out over time, especially with 24/7 use. In most cases you will have to prove there is evidence of a serious defect and if it was always there, explain why you did not pursue this within the first year. Similar challenges arise for the Implied Warranty of Fitness, and if it did not live up to that standard, why did the buyer not return it right away or make a warranty claim earlier (ie: within the first year)? Records, documented defects, expert opinions, etc can all help, but they can certainly be a struggle in a case like this where reasonable electronic market expectations of 24/7 use are typically not long as electronic parts wear out. Particularly in a low-profit margin company that doesn’t necessarily advertise itself as being being highest quality longest lasting in the market made with the most expensive and durable parts. With a quick search it would be easy to show how many people have the opposite expectation with people frequently repeating “you get what you pay for” and they have lower expectations. So convincing a state that significantly higher expectations than the typical user are warranted would certainly be challenging.
In these cases, the purden of proof is on the customer (and that is a difficult thing to demonstrate, especially when debating about something like a cheap $25 hub wherein any court or attorney costs and time, stress, etc are going to make it not worthwhile for anyone involved). The next challenge are the manufacturer defenses (arguing misuse, wear and tear, or other factors that can be easily persuasive for a 24/7 electronic that costs under $50).
But sometimes it helps in negotiations with a company so that they will be more flexible and reasonable and helpful. And having said all of the above, there certainly are cases where I think it should apply.
In my PERSONAL opinion, if a normal public firmware update bricks a device, that device should generally be covered under an implied warranty, at least for up to a few years even if the limited warranty is expired. I think most people would generally agree that there is a reasonable assumption that it is always safe to update to the latest firmware and you are expected to do so in order to keep adequate security up to date. So if a company implies you need to update firmware for security, and their firmware bricks your device, then in my opinion, that should be covered by an implied warranty. Of course that is up to regional laws and not my personal opinion…I’m just saying what my personal ideals are.
Interesting topic though.
For what it is worth, I have seen Wyze do warranty replacements in many cases for people where the limited warranty didn’t cover something or was expired. So I do believe that they use some reasonable discretion to take care of people in certain circumstances.