Lifetime Guarantee

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by JDMvW, Jul 4, 2022.

  1. Some very fine cameras came with a "lifetime guarantee"
    1949 advertisement
    But how long a warranty is this? "Life of product" seems a slippery concept.

    I'm betting that if you could track down "WestView Capital Partners," who Wikipedia lists as a recent 'owner', you'd have a hard time convincing them that they should repair your Foton.

    So even big companies who offer a lifetime, are a little, well, "funny".

    Imagine trying to get that "lifetime supply" of "free film" for your $5 Tynar 16 from Astra Photo Products
    Have you ever 'collected' on a long-term warranty?

    I do remember getting watches fixed multiple times by TIMEX when I was in grade school, though.
  2. Maybe "lifetime" means for the life of the company subject to parts availability.
    Kent T likes this.
  3. If a company incorporates and dissolves is there any one individual that can be held responsible for honoring such a claim? I had some high end windows installed in the house and they came with a lifetime glass replacement. Problem is the large retailer that contracted the window installation is out of the window business. I asked at the millwork center and the guy there said he would not even know who to call. The installers were sub contractors. My point is your lifetime might be but a blink of an eye for those who make such claims.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2022
  4. John I got an Ambi Silette from my Dad and it’s still going strong. Generally speaking though, whose lifetime?

    Rick H.
    John Farrell likes this.
  5. A year or so ago I confronted a local optician with a gift voucher from from the 70s that came from their store. It said it was "always valid" :D
    I didn't keep them to it though, but we did have a good laugh about it.

    "During life of product" would suggest that it counts as long as the company supports it and has parts available.

    That said, I had a Berning Robot II repaired by former employees of the company that had started a repair service after the company went belly-up. That story is repeated elswhere on ;)
    Kent T likes this.
  6. "Life of product" can also mean "as long as a product such as this product can reasonably be expected to function without fail", and as such is what in the E.U. is the basis of legal guarantees and consumer rights. No matter what the manufacturer or dealer claims or limits guarantees to.

  7. "lifetime of the product" -as deemed by the company? I had a pair of shoes once that were supposedly guarnteed for "life". Turned out my view of the life of the shoes was quite different from the manufacturer's view of the life of the shoes.
    Claim denied!
  8. In the E.U. the company is not the one who decides. If a product shows faults before, with normal use, it can be expected to, you have a claim that must be honoured.
    James Bryant and Ricochetrider like this.
  9. Not so here, sadly. We get very little consumer support in the U.S.- where the highest court in the land declared corporations “people”, some years back.
    James Bryant likes this.
  10. My father, who owned his own auto repair shop for the last 30 years of his working life, always joked that when a product with a lifetime guarantee failed: "Well, I guess that was its life then!"
    kmac and Mike Gammill like this.
  11. Not a camera, but the rubber grips on my Gitzo tripod finally fell off after years of service. Received a
    whole set of replacements in mail at no charge.
    James Bryant likes this.
  12. This reminds me of those old advertisements for everlasting light bulbs. They were just ordinary bulbs, but who keeps the receipt for a light bulb, and goes to the trouble of claiming for a replacement a year later?
  13. Oh, my!
    There is a whole other can of worms; Build-in-obsolesce. How about a light bulb that last more than 100 years? Except, in 1924 the industry agreed on a 1000 hours lifespan: The L.E.D. Quandary: Why There’s No Such Thing as “Built to Last”

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