Lets talk about the one year, limited warranty. Or as I like to call it, the "We don't have enough confidence in the quality of our products to guarantee them beyond 12 months" warranty. Moreover, we will only cover certain scenarios if the product does break. Every time I am shopping for something, such as a TV, laptop, or appliance, I often see the one year limited warranty label and it leaves me questioning retailers (even Apple) as to why they will not stand by their product.
Is it a lack of research and development? Is product testing not rigorous enough? Is it too costly to guarantee the working order of something beyond the first year? I don't mean to oversimplify but as a consumer, if I am going to invest hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars into something, I should feel confident that it will last - that may not mean a lifetime, especially with today's more complex, breakable technologies, but it should be two years at a minimum and better yet three - and without limitations.
So , why don't all companies stand behind their product? And why do some do so more than others? I can only speculate but I believe like too many corporate decisions, it comes down to money. I think companies have a two fold strategy. First, products are just not made like they were twenty years ago. Ask anybody who fixes these products for a living and they will confirm it. They certainly have to me! It comes down to the reality of integrating more and more electronics such as LED displays, increased automation and additional functionality.
By adding such complexity, companies are creating products that will break more easily than before - that's the reality of integrating so much technology. Consumers will then be left with two choices, repair or replace, which often will depend if an extended warranty was purchased - excluded are most issues occurring in year one post purchase. This brings us to reason number two for why companies do not build things like they used to - innovation. Technology is advancing so fast, that many of us are waiting for the next version of something before we've even really experienced what we just bought - Apple has perfected this strategy with the iPhone.
Therefore, our temptation and impatience are capitalized on because many of us want the next great thing and then the NEXT great thing after that, and it may only be two or three years later. This is the simple reality of the age we live in and the speed with which companies create something new. For those who are more patient and want to ensure we don't pay for break downs, after one year you can buy an extended warranty for about 20% of the product's cost - that's not cheap and if you have an issue you likely won't deal with the manufacturer.
So, where does this leave us? While I don't have a definitive answer, I do believe that companies can do better overall and regardless of the financial equation. After all, if I can cite 32 known brands that stand by their products for a lifetime, why can't everyone guarantee at least two years and better yet three? Read about these brave brands here article - how's that for standing behind your product?!
When we put our hard earned money into something, we should have confidence that it will last - that doesn't imply it's immune of repair, but if something needs to be fixed, it shouldn't cost us more money to fix it, especially in the first 2-3 years. And I shouldn't have to buy an extended warranty program to protect it.
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