2012 blogpost warranties

How Warranties Work: The Limited Warranty

How Warranties Work: The Limited Warranty

As I wrote in a previous segment, a manufacturer may limit the length of implied warranties to the duration of the written warranty. This renders the warranty a

Limited Warranty

A limited warranty is a warranty with limitations or conditions. In addition to restricting the implied warranty’s duration, these limitations and exclusions can include:

Warranty this?

Which parts are covered. Often the warranty covers the main product, but not accessories. A hand held vacuum cleaning device may have a 3 year warranty which excludes the attachments. Sometimes these come with a little tube with bristles on the end. Who can guarantee bristles for 3 years?

How long each part is covered. A 2 year warranty for an office chair may only cover the rollers for the first 90 days, since they are most likely to be damaged based on how they are used.

The kinds of damage covered. Most computers are not covered for water damage, and their warranties usually make this very clear. Many things can get wet, dry off and still function, like plates. Computers remain outside that group, so it is a reasonable exclusion.

Damages up to a certain amount. Your Sea-Turtle-Safe Pong Lighting Kit may say, “Warranty covers up to $400 in labor and product costs.” These dollar limitations will often be in place when service or labor is part of a warranty.

[caption id="attachment_2911" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Pond Scum. Voids most warranties."]Pond Scum[/caption]

Limited to first-time purchasers.

I've mentioned this one in earlier segments, where the product is only guaranteed for the initial purchaser. Once it is passed on, sold or given away, the warranty is immediately void. This sounds like a gimmicky way to shorten a warranty, but it actually makes some sense if you think about it. Yes, an object should last as long as it should last no matter who owns it, but on the other hand, when the seller or manufacturer makes the guarantee, they have had possession of the thing up to that point. They know how it has been handled and whether it has ever been dropped or overheated or modified. When I give something to my friend Eddie, how can the manufacturer or original seller know that I didn’t drop it into pond scum for a matter of days at some point? They are no longer in any position to ensure that the product is still in good shape, or is as new as I might present it to be.

Next: The Caveats



The full series:

pt.1: What is a Warranty

pt.2: Which Law Governs Warranties

pt.3: The Express Warranty

pt.4: Implied Warranty #1

pt.5: Implied Warranty #2

pt.6: Full and Extended Warranties

pt.7: The Limited Warranty

pt.8: The Caveats (the “bewares”) 

pt.9: Used and “As Is” Sales 

pt.10: Who is Responsible?

pt.11: How Warranties Work: Who is Responsible? The Installer? The Shipper?


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David is has written and made videos about flooring products and installation since 2011 at Floors To Your Home (.com), where he is also the PPC Manager, a Researcher, a Website & Marketing Strategy Team member, Videographer, Social Strategist, Photographer and all around Resource Jito. In my spare time I shoot and edit video, put together a podcast, explore film history, and mix music (as in ‘play with Beatles multi-tracks’). Connect with  W. David Lichty


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