is the time of year when we start thinking about purchasing
gifts for the holidays. Although most major purchases are
not made at this time of year, one needs to be alert to the
warranties and service contracts that are available when any
merchandise is purchased.
warranty (or guarantee) describes the manufacturer's or seller's
commitment to stand behind their products. It tells what will
be done if a problem develops in a certain amount of time.
It is as important to compare warranties as it is to compare
style, price and other characteristics of products before
offer warranties as a promotional device to help consumers
differentiate between competing products and help foster brand
loyalty. From the management standpoint, warranties act as
a corporate commitment to consumer satisfaction. It also limits
the manufacturer's or seller's liability.
major consumer purchases come with written warranties although
they are not legally required. If a product cost more than
$15, a written warranty must be available for the consumer
the protection offered by warranties varies greatly, comparing
warranties is important. Some questions to help when comparing
parts and problems are covered?
any expenses excluded from coverage?
long does the warranty last?
will you have to do to get repairs?
will the company do if the product fails?
the warranty cover consequential damages? (Damages the
product caused, or your time and expense in getting the
there any conditions or limitations on the warranty? Some
warranties may cover only personal, as opposed to business,
use. Others may cover only the first-time owner. Make sure
the product and warranty will meet your needs.
prevent problems with your warranty, consider these precautions:
reputation of the company offering the warranty.
the warranty before you buy a product.
the sales slip and attach it to the warranty.
the instruction manual before using the product.
after a purchase, try out the product's features, controls
and parts. This way you can discover any defects or problems
any maintenance or inspection required by the warranty.
the product according to the manufacturer's instructions.
a consumer, it is important to be realistic about the expectations
of a product. Do not expect features or performance the product
was not designed to give or warranty coverage that was not
promised. If a problem does develop, follow the instructions
in the warranty for repair or replacement.
should have some type of filing system for warranties. Start
a file folder or use a box, but keep all warranties, sales
receipts and instruction books for products together, and
where you can find them. Keep receipts for gifts that you
have purchased in case a problem arises. Even if you are not
purchasing items for yourself at this time, check to see that
your warranties, etc. are filed where you can find them when