I bought a humidifier a while back. It worked just fine for about 30 days. Then it died. In a panic, I searched through my wallet to find the receipt. When I found it, I saw—to my relief—that the humidifier was still under warranty. That was the good news. The bad news was that it was the thirtieth day after the purchase date, and it was about 9PM and freezing cold outside. But the pharmacy where I bought it was open until 11, so, reluctantly, I trekked out to get my money back.
On the way, I mulled over 30 day warranties and I came to a conclusion: they just don’t make any sense. Why? Because nothing should be guaranteed for 30 days any more. No. In this age of social media and indelible customer service gaffes, everything should be guaranteed for much, much longer than 30 days.
Here’s the question: is it acceptable for something to break after 30 days of use? If you spend some hard earned cash to buy that widget, is it okay that in 30 days you might have to buy a new one, and essentially pay twice to have the same product?
Of course not. It doesn’t make sense for you, and it doesn’t make sense for companies. If my humidifier had broken down after 45 days, I might have posted a nasty remark on Facebook. “ABC brand is crap!” I might have said in a moment of emotion. “Never buy their humidifiers. I had mine for six weeks and when it died on me, I couldn’t get a refund!”
How does that look for companies?
Is sticking to an outdated concept worth the bad publicity?
Now, what if they decided to offer a one-year warranty? How about a two-year warranty… a five-year warranty?
What if they stood by their product and said, “Forget what we’re legally allowed to do. What’s the reasonable thing to do? A humidifier should last a couple years. So let’s give people a 2 year warranty.”
Now let’s revisit that Facebook post: “ABC brand is great. You should buy their humidifiers. I had mine for almost two years and when it broke down—they replaced it free of charge!”
Sounds much better, doesn’t it? Thanks always does. Especially public thanks. And good publicity moves product.
Written by: Michel Semienchuk, MBA (Sales and marketing consultant specializing in marketing strategy and writing. Read more of his posts, read his LinkedIn editorial page. To find out more about Michel, visit his LinkedIn profile or www.nexplica.com)
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