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Lifetime warranty claims land Belkin in trouble


#1

‘Lifetime’ warranty confusion sees Belkin in hot water. From the article:

Australians in the market for a Belkin modem-router or accessory may have decided to spend a bit more in order to benefit from “lifetime” and “limited lifetime” warranties.

But nowhere on the packaging of the 130 different types of products making the claims did it say the warranties are set at five years. Or as Belkin put it, to cover the lifetime of the product.

Read more:


#2

Belkin is possibly the ‘tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to companies advertising their products as having a lifetime warranty, without providing any information about that this means.

Many non-electrical kitchen items (such as kettles, pots and pans, cutlery/knifes etc) often have labelling of ‘lifetime warranty’ on their packaging but provide no information to what this means.

For example, we recently bought an Esstelle kettle which had the following information taken from their Use and Care guide enclosed with the kettle on purchase:

LIFETIME WARRANTY
Our goods come with guarantees that cannot be excluded under the Australian Consumer Law. You are entitled to a replacement or refund for a major failure and for compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage. You are also entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced if the goods fail to be of acceptable quality and the failure does not amount to a major failure.

Meyer Cookware Australia Pty Ltd (“Meyer”) provides the following warranty in relation to Essteele (“the Product”). The benefits of this warranty are in addition to any rights and remedies imposed by Australian State and Federal legislation that cannot be excluded. Nothing in this warranty is to be interpreted as excluding, restricting or modifying any State or Federal legislation applicable to the supply of goods and services which cannot be excluded, restricted or modified.

WARRANTY

Meyer warrants that, subject to the exclusions and limitations below, the Product will be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal domestic household use for the lifetime of the Product. The warranty period commences on the date of sale by the original retailer to the original purchaser. The lifetime warranty applies only while the Product is owned by the original purchaser.

Use of the Product in a commercial capacity will void this Lifetime Warranty.

If a defect appears in the Product before the end of the warranty period and Meyer finds the Product to be defective in materials or workmanship, Meyer will, in its sole discretion either:
(a) repair the Product using identical components; or
(b) replace the Product with a product comparable in quality and value

Meyer reserves the right to replace defective parts of the Product with parts and components of similar quality, grade and composition where an identical part or component is not available.Products presented for repair may be replaced by refurbished products of the same type rather than being repaired. Refurbished parts may be used to repair the products. Meyer reserves the right to change or discontinue its product ranges at any time without notice and without liability.

WARRANTY CLAIMS

Any claims for warranty should be made with proof of purchase and full details of the alleged defect, to Meyer Cookware Australia Pty Ltd, by sending the Product to the reply paid address below for assessment. Meyer Cookware Australia Pty Ltd Service Department Reply Paid 85097 Croydon South Victoria 3136 AUSTRALIA

Alternatively, you can return the Product to the retailer from whom the Product was purchased, with proof of purchase and full details of the alleged defect. To ensure the validity of your warranty please retain proof of purchase and register the purchase with Meyer on-line or alternatively via mail. The customer must make the Product available to Meyer or its authorised repair agent for inspection and testing.

LIMITATIONS

Meyer makes no express warranties or representations other than set out in this Warranty. The repair or replacement of the Product, or the refund of the purchase price of the Product, is the absolute limit of Meyer’s liability under this Express Warranty.

EXCLUSIONS
This warranty does not apply where:
(a) the damage to or defect in the Product is caused by normal wear and tear;
(b) the Product has been on-sold or assigned by the original purchaser;
© the Product has been used for commercial purposes;
(d) the Product has been used for purposes other than the purpose for which it was designed;
(e) the Product has been repaired by someone other than Meyer or an authorised repairer of Meyer;
(f) the Product has been subject to abnormal conditions, whether of temperature, water, humidity, pressure, stress or similar;
(g) corrosive or abrasive matter has been applied to the Product;
(h) the defect in the Product has arisen due to the original purchaser’s failure to properly maintain or use the Product in accordance with the Use and Care Instructions specified by Meyer; or
i) the Product has been misused, abused, neglected or involved in an accident.
This warranty does not cover scratches, stains, discoloration or damage caused by overheating.

Whilst the lifetime warranty seems good when deciding on the purchase, the limitations actually indicate that the warranty is not really lifetime as there are many exclusions…one including from in effect, using the product.

It also doesn’t really extend an warranties provided under the ACL…but gives the impression that it does. It is false and misleading to say the least to say it has a lifetime warranty. Similar wording applies for all Esstelle products, as well as other brands marketed/distributed by Meyer.

When questioning the retailer, they indicated that the maximum warranty would be 10 years, subject to the limitations.

The only company I know of that honours a real lifetime warranty is Tupperware…which will replace items decades old if they are split or deteriorate to a point where they are unusable…but I suppose you pay for the lifetime warranty as their goods are far more expensive that most other in the marketplace.


#3

“The ACCC says some customers would’ve purchased the routers believing that the warranties covered their lifetime. It has since accepted an enforceable undertaking from Belkin that will see the company offer warranty support for the lifetime of the person who made the original purchase.”

After a couple of years the receipt or photocopy of the receipt would have become invisible, unless photocopied using a laser printer. (I have original receipts filed away in date order that have become a blank strip of register paper, while other receipts in the same date range are perfectly readable.)

So how do you prove you are the original owner if (what you think is) the receipt has completely faded?


#4

That is a hard one. For years I have always scanned every receipt for anything with a useful warranty or worthy enough to push my ACL rights and print on demand.

I have read that sometimes a charge statement will be enough, especially if the charge amount was for a single item and the selling cost at the at the time can be researched.


Cost of map update on built-in GPS
#5

TomTom Australia joins Belkin in defining ‘lifetime’ as five years:

https://www.choice.com.au/transport/cars/navigation-systems/articles/tomtom-australia-kills-lifetime-maps-two-dozen-models-050218


#6

Very disappointed that I bought a TomTom recently, in that case.

I won’t be buying another !


#7

In part defence of Tom Tom and similar, it states the problem is (eg) the 2010 map of Europe was 1.6GB and today it is 6.5GB, and those older devices do not have sufficient memory to store it. That to me is an example of a simplistic but real technological break point.

Devils advocate question, how do you put 6.5GB of data into a 2 or 4 GB memory, or what do you omit from the modern maps if you decided it had to work, noting data compression can only do so much with binary data?

One could argue the Tom Tom OS might be modified to only load a single country so as to fit, but imagine the entertainment that would provide to anyone living near a fringe and how the mix and match selections would be managed. It could be done, but with how much spaghetti code.

I expect Australia would fit for years to come but if they were to support Australia and not Europe or North America+Caribbean (about 3.5GB as that map goes) someone would sue them for inequitable treatment so they are at the rock and hard place as to what to do.

If they changed ‘lifetime’ to the time when maps no longer fit into the memory hey would be accused of manipulating map size to create a false ‘end of technology’.

Hence ‘5 years’ is cut and dried clear. I find this less onerous than the vehicle manufacturers putting in years old maps in new vehicles and either never offering an update or charging $350 per.


#8

Seems to me from an advertising perspective, that if it is 5 years, then say 5 years. Lifetime, unless your name is Roy Batty, is more than that … OK, Roy only had 4, but he’d seen things we people wouldn’t believe (maybe like lifetime maps) before it was his ‘time to die’ … not very sporting :wink:


#9

Inbuilt memory shouldn’t impose a limitation of the life of a GPS unit if it has a SD card reader.

You can buy maps on SD cards, I bought a topographic map of Australia on SD card for our Navman maybe six years ago. So the answer for places like Europe with 6.5Gb maps is to store the maps on one or more SD cards (depending on the units SD card reading limit) and change cards if necessary. Hopefully the older units can read 8Gb, or more.