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What Was Wrong With Pen Makers Offering Lifetime Warranty's.


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Paul80

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 06:50

Hi all

As subject, why did the American legal system object to the likes of Parker & Sheaffer offering a lifetime warranty?

It would be interesting to know whst was behind their objections.

Paul

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#2 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 19:31

Hi all

As subject, why did the American legal system object to the likes of Parker & Sheaffer offering a lifetime warranty?

It would be interesting to know whst was behind their objections.

Paul

 

This is a matter of confusion and falsehood. The American government, specifically the Federal Trade Commission, did not object to lifetime warranties. In fact Cross offers a lifetime warranty, and after a brief intermission, Sheaffer resumed offering lifetime warranties on selected models.

 

The problem that did occur was that customers understood the word "warranty" to mean that their pens would be repaired free of charge. This proved to be too expensive, in the opinion of some though not all pen manufacturers, and they imposed charges. Their customers complained to the FTC that they hadn't realized they were buying pens that would be repaired only with a hitherto unstated charge. The pen manufacturers were willing at best to mention the charge in small type, inconspicuously.

 

What emerged was a ruling that lifetime warranties that involved paying for the service could be offered only if the information about charges were printed in type of the same size and visibility as the offer of LIFETIME WARRANTY. 

 

Parker and Sheaffer found that a very tiresome idea, hardly calculated to increase sales, and Parker stopped offering the lifetime warranty. Sheaffer stopped for a while but then started again. There is no legal prohibition of lifetime warranties and there never has been.


Edited by Jerome Tarshis, 10 April 2019 - 19:32.


#3 Paul80

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 21:34

Hi

Thanks for the reply

An interesting and informative read.

Paul

#4 Pasenow

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 13:02

Wow, that's a beautiful reply ... thanks so much for the info ...



#5 praxim

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 22:24

Question from curiosity:

 

Whose lifetime?

 

Purchaser, or a reasonable expectation of the practical lifetime of the thing, or lifetime of the manufacturer? 

 

My presumption is that it would be the second potentially curtailed by the third.

 

If the first, what if the purchaser were run over by a bus after stepping out of the shop, leaving the pen intact but with a manufacturing flaw found by an heir?


Anyone owning three or more working pens is in no position to disparage choices by others.

#6 PAKMAN

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 22:36

Good info!


PAKMAN
 

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#7 Bibliophage

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 03:42

As an alternate example, Victorinox has a lifetime warranty on all of their knives - including Wenger, AFAICT.   What they _do_, however, is charge a $5 fee per knife.   To me, that's reasonable, considering how they ship them back.   They're not charging for repairing the knife - it's the same fee for a $20 knife as a $600 knife - they're paying for postage.   I suspect it also reduces abuse, because it'll let them track someone that has had 50 knives repaired in a year (people committing fraud to make money through reselling).   I have about 25, total, and just had two repaired.  I have two others that should be repaired.    That's it, in decades of use.  



#8 CS388

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 17:15

Not sure of the specifics, but I've had a few Zippo lighters repaired free of charge, regardless of their age.

 

It's a simple enough process, send the lighter back to them, with your return address. They repair it and send it back to you - and they even pay for the return postage.

 

It's as close to a lifetime warranty as I can envisage.



#9 Honeybadgers

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Posted 04 October 2019 - 02:13

Leatherman used to offer free sharpening on the raptor trauma shears. They no longer do. They won't even sharpen it for a fee. You're just on your own (and they still sell the damn things)

 

It bothers me a lot, the thing is a nightmare to sharpen and was not cheap, and by design, it's a tool that I use to cut through wood and metal and clothes and leather in emergencies.

 

My mom had a pair of US. Diver scuba fins for about 35 years before finally one boot strap broke. They were hideously out of date old things from the late 60's/early 70's, no warranty was implied, but she wrote them for fun and told them that the fins had lasted for nearly six thousand dives (she was a NAUI instructor in the pacific and is/was an avid recreational diver, even now nearing her 70's) and they sent her a brand new $700 pair of fins for free.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 04 October 2019 - 02:16.

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