Recently we went on a project to evaluate and buy a household appliance. Part of the sales pitch that we heard repeatedly was about warranties, with the phrase ‘lifetime warranty’ finding its way in the spiel.
I can understand the concept of warranty for a period of time (1-year, 2-years, etc.), but the concept of ‘lifetime warranty’ has me confused — I am not sure of whose ‘lifetime’ the warranty is valid for. For example:
- Is it the lifetime of the buyer? What happens if the buyer dies and the item is inherited by someone else? Does the warranty hold?
- Is it the lifetime of the retail shop or the retail chain? What happens when the shop/ chain shuts down or is acquired by some other entity?
- Is the warranty valid only as along as the item continues to function (live) – and the warranty expires as soon as the item stops functioning (dies)? In which case there is no warranty.
- Is the warranty valid only as long as the model continues to be produced?
- Is it valid for the lifetime of the manufacturing company? Or manufacturing facility?
- Is it valid only as long as the technology used is not obsolete? For example, can I claim the lifetime warranty on my floppy disk drive? (I may need to retrieve some of the data backed up in a floppy disk).
There are many more ways that ‘lifetime’ warranty can be interpreted.
By the way, there may an opportunity for a start-up to provide extended lifetime warranties (on an app, of course 🙂 ).
Please feel free to share your views, experiences, and queries, using the “comments” feature.