Ensuring that software warranty lasts much longer

Unlike physical objects, software doesn't erode over time. If you pay for a smartphone app, it's shouldn't break after a few days. Just like any other product that you buy, software should have a warranty; one that lasts much longer.

How it works

Why software warranty?

Any product bought in the European Union has a limited warranty: if the product breaks or misbehaves during that period, you can either get the product repaired or replaced, or you can get your money back.

The duration of the warranty usually depends on the type of product. It is reasonable for a smartphone to last at least 2 years, but a banana probably wouldn't last that long. For software, however, there is no determined duration of how long software should "reasonably" last if you buy it.

How can we fix this?

If you buy an app from an app store, it should work - and if it doesn't work or if it becomes unusuable after a while, you should get your money back.

We should start treating apps and software like products: if you pay for it, there should be a warranty. Experts should determine how long an app should reasonably work, and then those warranties need to be legislated.

Personal experience

Nobody knows

How long is the warranty on software? 🔖 Turns out that that's something nobody knows.

I have called the Dutch authority on warranties, the technical authority, a software vendor and the legal counter for citizens, and none of them were able to give me an answer. 🙈

I was advised to consult a lawyer because "maybe they'll know".

Bram on Mastodon