Wednesday, June 10, 2009

557 Limited Lifetime Warranty

557 Limited Lifetime Warranty

That's what they all say. Then comes the fine print. You read the fine print, and they STILL don't tell you whose lifetime they're talking about. Is it yours, or is it the expected lifetime of the product or service and if the latter, how do they figure it out?

Salt has an UNlimited lifetime warranty, implied if not expressed. Put it on a shelf somewhere and a million years later the shelf may be gone, but the salt's still there.

Lands' End, the clothing company says "Guaranteed. Period." And if your no-iron shirt comes out of the laundry wrinkled after the 35th wash instead of the 50th, they'll replace it. Actually, if it comes out wrinkled after the 100th, they'll likely also replace it.

But what about other stuff?

Some musical instruments have lifetime warranties good only to the original owner. So when you croak, your Martin D-28 guitar no longer qualifies. But what would happen if your heirs wanted to fight it?

One of the big 2.5 car makers has a limited lifetime warranty on its transmissions and some parts of the engine. Uh...WHOSE life? If you bring the thing back to the dealer (if there still IS a dealer) after, say 60-thousand miles, will he say "60- thou is the lifetime of the transmission."

Or will he say "no problem. We'll just pop a new one right in. Can you wait 20 minutes?" Sure!

What else is or isn't in the fine print? Probably there's a list of exceptions. Probably you need a magnifying glass if not a microscope to read it. Probably even if you CAN read it, you won't understand it.

"We're glad you chose All American Fresh Mackerel. Your satisfaction is guaranteed!" (Does not apply to fresh fish exposed to sunlight or left unrefrigerated for more than 30 minutes.) "Your Roof-o-Matic faux thatched roof comes with a lifetime limited warranty. (Not responsible for acts of God, acts of war, tornadoes, hurricanes, brush fires or holes.)"

There are limits, and there are limits.

Shrapnel:

--New York's Park in the Sky has opened after umpteen years of planning and prep. It runs along the west side from Gansevoort St. to 20th and eventually stretch further north on an abandoned rail "El" once used to transport cattle. Don't play Frisbee to close to the edge and watch out for airborne muggers.

--Newt Gingrich bumped Sarah Palin off the top of the speakers list at a big Republican Party fundraiser this week. Obviously the good ole boys network (or newt-work) lives. What they need is a wise Latina not some hick town ditz and then maybe the newt-work won't work anymore.

--Please note the addition of a new link to your right. Or click here: Alan Colmes -- talk show host and old pal from the lean days. And somehow, he remains lean despite our aging, and will not disclose his secret.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009


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