Can a Great Guarantee Be Worthless?

My brother (the geek) told me that one of the big computer memory manufacturers offers a two-year guarantee.  If their memory fails, call them up and they’ll replace it.

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It sounds great, doesn’t it?

And refreshing too, since so few companies seem to want to stand by their products lately.

When I first heard this, I was ready to write down the name, and tell other people how great this business was.

They believed in guarantees, they took care of their customers, and it all sounded wonderful.

Almost too good to be true.

Turns out it is too good to be true. The company will fix your problem, but there’s a “cost.” Not in money, but in something else that’s valuable (and not replaceable).

There’s a catch

Apparently, it takes two hours to convince them to honor the guarantee.  Two hours that could be spent on something a bit more… billable.  So, he’s stopped asking for it. If something fails, it’s faster and cheaper to just buy a new one.

Yes, you can get more sales by offering a refund.  But you have to honor it in a way that helps your customers, not hurts them.

The idea behind a guarantee is to make your customers and clients feel good about  using your products and services, even when something goes wrong. This company may have a two year guarantee, but the way they “support” it makes that guarantee worthless.

If this company honored the guarantee in a meaningful way, my brother would be singing their praises (as would I).  This way, well, they just go in the crappy company file.