Sidchrome "Unconditional Guarantee" on its Tools

I have a Sidchrome tool set that I bought in 1982 from a long gone hardware store. Recently I cracked one of my sockets (9/16th AF).

Back when I bought it, the then Aussie owned and manufactured tools had an unconditional guarantee on them which at the time meant a lifetime no-questions-asked warranty.

Does Sidchrome, now foreign owned, still cover these guarantees? And where should I go to get the socket replaced?

Please note: I bought a new one the other day from Bunnings. This is more of a philosophical discussion, I guess.

That is, does Sidchrome have to honor this warranty/guarantee still? Do the retailers of Sidchrome products have to, as well, despite no receipt, didn’t purchase it from them, etc.?

What is the consumers’ course of action that is available to them?

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Most Lifetime warranties are conditional and don’t necessarily mean that the product will be replaced anytime into the future.

Sidchrome website states:

Sidchrome has built its reputation on supplying tradespeople with high quality, premium and professional products that last a lifetime, supported by SIDCHROME’s Lifetime Guarantee against faulty workmanship and material on most products.

Lifetime is what will be deemed a reasonable life of a socket. A reasonable person would deem that 40 years is a reasonable life for a socket. You are unlikely you will succeed if you take it further as it could easily be argued that the product life has been exceeded.

After 40 years, it is unlikely to be ‘faulty workmanship and material’ which caused the socket to fail. It would most likely have failed through its use (wear and tear) and age (metal fatigue).

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Their warranty page is ‘not found’ but they have a number of ways to contact them to ask the question.

I have some Tilley hats all with a lifetime guarantee that needed replacing after 30 years! The guarantee even covers losing it during its early life. When I bought it there was a no questions asked warranty - warranty terms changed during the 30 years but they can identify which generation hats had which warranty by the insert in the crown. Today a new Tilley needs to be registered and proof of purchase provided to have the warranty. They replaced the 30 year old Tilley that had a thread start unravelling no questions asked for reasonable cost of postage from Canada. My subsequent Tilleys still have lifetime warranties but more recently the hats need to be registered along with proof of purchase.

If you had a copy of the original warranty or if the current one covers your socket, my opinion is you might need to produce proof of purchase as well as a possible inspection for misuse versus a faulty socket. That being possible they might send you a new socket gratis with minimal effort on your part.

While there are T&C and the ACCC has guidance, it is more how a company actually responds that makes the difference. Why not give them a ring and let us know what they tell you?

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As a practical matter, going to a seller of Sidchrome tools without any proof of purchase is probably going to be met with a talk to Sidchrome response. Not our problem. So see what the company has to say if you sent a warranty claim with details of the failure.

As a philosophical term, what does ‘lifetime’ mean anyway in a warranty?

All good points.

Back when I bought the kit, the term “unconditional Guarantee” was, then, they’d replace the broken tool, no questions asked, forever. But this is the '70s-80s that we’re talking about. Consumer law has changed a lot since then. But when I started my motor mechanic apprenticeship, all the mechanics in the workshop who swore by Sidchrome and that its guarantee was far better than what other tool manufacturers had to offer at the time.

But I do recall something about broken sockets, though. If you used one on an impact gun, that would break it, guaranteed and you’d have problems getting it replaced under that “warranty” back then.

I guess that today, that same situation would hold true.

I suppose that if I were to take the socket into Bunnings, Total Tools or wherever Sidchrome products are sold I’d ask them what my options were. (I replaced it with a Kingchrome socket from Bunnings).

I started this thread to discuss the original unconditional guarantee concept which goes way back to before my time in the industry and if it would apply today.

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This related to the product lifetime.

As I indicated above, a 40+ year life for a socket it extremely good and would be considered longer than the lifetime covered by the ‘unconditional lifetime guarantee’. The chance of them replacing a broken socket after 40+ years is extremely unlikely. They will say it has exceeded the lifetime of the socket and you have had a great life.

Sidchrome when made in Australia was extremely good quality. My own socket set is about 30 years old, used occasionally and looks like new. I can’t say the same for many cheap socket set available today.

Edit:

The ‘unconditional lifetime warranty’ is conditional. I just checked my set and inside the case it states that the warranty doesn’t cover use of tools or accessories on impact drivers.

It also doesn’t cover misuse/abuse.

The unconditional warranty is only on Sidchrone’s workmanship and materials for the lifetime of the product.

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Not only Sidchrome, Bahco and Snap-On amongst many from memory have also used in the past similar terms to promote their products.

For some tools what might define a reasonable lifetime? The 24” Bahco shifting spanned I use dates from the 1960’s. For some tools well stored and used infrequently they could still be serviceable for 100 years. For others used everyday, wear and tear might all add up to scrap within but a few.

To consider:
Sockets and spanners all have a design limit. Is it the maximum force of one hand, the applied added force from a meter long pipe or he measured blows from a 28oz ball pein hammer. All common practice in the field. Could one suggest if there is a manufacturing defect in any they will be found sooner rather than later in the life of a tool? There after?

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On that support page you referenced theres a HELP link:

image

which takes one takes us to a rather dodgy looking link:
https://www.2helpu.com/SIDCHROME/AU/en-AU/

On that page there are two options, menu at top and link in the middle titled “WARRANTY INFORMATION” but oddly pointing to different URLs that appear to contain the same content based on a quick ‘diff’…

image

https://www.2helpu.com/SIDCHROME/AU/en-AU/Article/GetArticle?code=WarrantyPolicy_6

The warranty seems even more limited than the one I recall reading a few years ago and certainly uninspiring - one of the reasons I now buy Sidchrome only when it is on special or has something I need urgently that another brand can’t satisfy (rare) … one wonders what the range of quality is in real terms …

A quick visit to Stanley B&D’s https://www.2helpu.com/world/ is informative …

Interestingly they still spruik the lifetime line with appropriate marketing twist:

“Built to last a lifetime” / “products that last a lifetime” vs “Lifetime Guarantee” … it’s all how you read it I guess, weasel words … (previous explanations obviously acknowledged).

That said - I have spanners in my toolbox marked “Siddons - Australia” that did genuinely last the original owner an old-fashioned ‘lifetime’ and they are still used regularly …

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Another variation on the weasel words,

A few years ago Asko advised me to try to source a failed control board from a used appliance business. They had zero stock world-wide, nor did any after-market parts houses have one. The washer was 12 years old - designed for 20 as their advertising went.

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Not related to Sidchrome or tools but rather the issue of lifetime warranties.

I purchased a license to use a software product for an unlimited time. No annual subscription payments were required either. In order to use the software an online connection is required. When the software is started it checks online that the license is valid, then permit its use. A couple of years later the developer sold the business The new owners failed to honour the previous owners licenses. I emailed the new owners several times and they didn’t even have the courtesy to reply. The new owner operate from a foreign country and it’s only a small company, so it’s pointless trying to do anything further.

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I have 3 Tilly hats. I was in Canada a couple of years ago and went to Tilly in Toronto and they immediately gave me a new hat in exchange for one that was starting to fray.

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I was in retail tool sales at the time Stanley took over Sidcrome. They changed attitude to warranty then. Plus the tools were different looking , so if you happened to get a replacement it didn’t match the set. Sidcrome then lost the reason to stay loyal to them, that’s partly the reason Kincrome became dominant.

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@ draughtrider.We went through 3 Asko dishwashers before we realised that they are overpriced rubbish (more fool us!). We now have a better, cheaper other brand .
And they always found reasons not to honour warranties.