was a commercial on television that got me thinking about it.
A few ideas... floating around in my head... and all of a sudden
something happened to cause them all to crash together into a
was an advertisement for some new flashlight that didn’t use batteries.
The concept was based on a something-we’ve-all-experienced moment
of dead batteries when you need the flashlight, if you can even
caught my attention was the lifetime guarantee.
a look around these days. A good… hard… look.
and Social Security… you know, those things that we had been raised
for decades to not just believe, but to know would be
there for us… things we could count on. Right? Not as safe and
secure any more. There are cases where the obligations of a company
were wiped clean, and… depending on which version of the story
you believe… the government either won’t have the money or certain
members of our government want to get rid of the program to benefit
their major contributors.
too long ago, when I was growing up that gold watch was expected.
One employer… one job… work it and retire. Dedicated service.
Earn your pension.
twenty years ago I was sitting in high school listening to one
of my teachers discussing a pen. I have no clue how the tangent
started, but he was talking about the reputation of the company
that made the pen, and how it came with a lifetime guarantee that
he could count on. Pen breaks… new pen.
any of you see the stories about how companies are changing their
return policies to be more and more stringent? It came up during
this recent holiday season… the idea was that stores would be
monitoring returns, especially people that tried to return items
without receipts. Some stores, as I recall, were even going to
go to the extreme of banning patrons from returning items for
a specified period of time if they tried to return too many things.
wonder how often you can return a broken pen?
to this flashlight.
guarantee. It breaks… send it back… new flashlight.
pondered the question of how many returns is too many… there is
another issue involved here…
the replacement flashlight even be there if I have a problem at
some point during my lifetime? Exactly what is a lifetime in a
a year ago I went to Sears. I had a pair of Craftsman wire cutters
that had broken. Craftsman. Good name. Lifetime guarantee. But
the sales associate helping me out was having some problems. The
company had changed the design on this particular pair of wire
cutters. And matching the proper designs to find a replacement
wasn’t working out too well because the serial numbers didn’t
seem right to him. Eventually, after getting a supervisor involved,
I left with new wire clippers.
even Sears doesn’t put the Craftsman logo and guarantee on all
of their tools and equipment. I know someone that had problems
returning a hoe with a five-year warranty. Since Sears no longer
made that line of garden tools, even with a receipt and being
well within five years, they had to make three phone calls before
deciding what type of hoe to use to replace his broken one.
in mind… Sears made good in both of these instances. I like Sears.
My point is that Sears has been around for long enough that a
guarantee on one of their products carries a bit of weight and
trust that a lifetime might be possible…. but a couple of model
modifications or inventory changes, and suddenly it wasn’t as
easy as broken one returned, new one given out.
this flashlight? Well… you get what you pay for far more often
than you don’t in life, and I’m guessing this one won’t be there
down the line.