The Truth about Product Warranties

The way that products are advertised these days, we are mislead to believe that a warranty, or guarantee, makes us believe a product will last the time frame of the warranty; and if there is any defect in the product discovered before the end of the warranty period, the product will be replaced to meet our expectation.

Do not be mislead by this false impression.  If or when you read the details in the warranty, which can be a hassle to get in advance of the purchase, keep in mind that the language is designed to make you feel good about the product while limiting the responsibility and financial exposure of the manufacturer. 

In reality warranties changes the law, dictated by the Uniform Commercial Code, to something that benefits the manufacturer.  For example, many warranties dictate the options for the manufacturer to fix the problem, these options may not be agreeable to the consumer.

Okay, it’s not as if the manufacturer is trying to give up all responsibility, well some of them are.  Many times these warranties help protect the manufacturer from problems that are outside of their control.  But as the industry changes and becomes more price competitive, these warranties may have implications that the consumer does not agree with.

Unfortunately, there is no room for bargaining on a warranty; our options are to buy the product and accept the warranty, or not buy the product.  The best we can do is read the terms to know what is stipulated.  See my notes on mattress warranties here.

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