Lifetime Warranties - WNEM TV 5

Lifetime Warranties

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA (CBS) -

When you buy something with a lifetime warranty you might expect it to last a lifetime. But customers and retailers don’t always agree on the definition of “lifetime”.

Jimmy Ip said he didn’t expect his blinds to last forever, but he did expect he’d be able to get them fixed as long as he owned them. That’s because they came with a limited lifetime warranty.

“When I saw lifetime I thought, hey, this is a great deal,” said Ip.

But when Ip contacted Just Blinds he got a surprised. That lifetime warranty was only good for 5 years. Or as an email explained: “The lifetime of the average blind”. Ip had his for seven.

Consumer Advocate and former Assistant Attorney General Edgar Dworsky said “A lifetime warranty cannot mean just five years because that would be a 5 year warranty, not a lifetime warranty”.

Dworsky said if they use the term lifetime the company has to define whose lifetime they mean.

The product warranty on the Just Blinds website says they’re covered if “service is ever needed”.

But when CBS news contacted the company, they pointed us to a second 3-year warranty description; buried several clicks deep in every product description.

Ip says he’s now looking more carefully at warranties to avoid being blindsided.

Just Blinds says it wants nothing more than for Ip to be satisfied and has now agreed to replace the blinds.

FTC regulations require on-line stores post warranty information in or near their product descriptions.

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