Limited Warranty or Guarantee?
Tumi products range from $150 to $1,050. They are sold at Tumi stores, as well as top retailers—Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, etc. This is high-end merchandise for up-market people.
Basically, Tumi’s "limited warranty" covers the product for 5 years. In year one, with certain exclusions, it will cover all cost of repairs (including shipment to and from Tumi) or give a replacement. In years two-through-five (with certain exclusions) owner pays for shipment to Tumi (or takes it in for repair) and Tumi pays. Thereafter, you’re on your own.
Here is a fluorescent paragraph in the Tumi copy that would raise red flags in the mind of any customer or prospect who takes a moment to analyze it:
This warranty gives you certain rights, and you may also have other rights, which vary from state to state. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you.
When lawyers remind buyers that they have "certain rights," they're throwing down the gantlet and creating an adversarial relationship. The customer is not Tumi’s partner, but a potential enemy. Clearly Tumi management is made up of wimpy idiots who've allowed themselves to be steamrollered by fearful lawyers.
"If lawyers had their say," said my old boss Walter Weintz, "they wouldn’t allow anybody to mail anything—ever!"
Scrap "Limited Warranty" and use an Ole-Fashioned Guarantee
My advice to marketers: scrap the "limited warranty."
It can be a deal killer.
The L.L. Bean Model
At the beginning of the 20th century, L.L. Bean put the following notice on the wall of his store in Freeport, Maine:
I DO NOT CONSIDER A SALE
COMPLETE UNTIL THE GOODS ARE
WORN OUT AND CUSTOMER
—L.L. BEAN, 1916