A warranty assures customers that the product they are purchasing is free from defects and if any issues are found within a certain period will be corrected by the manufacturer. A guarantee assures that the product will perform as advertised or the customer can receive their money back.
Let’s have a look at an example of warranty vs guarantee difference –
If you purchase electronic equipment and it stops working after a few months, you may be entitled to repairs or replacement as part of the warranty. On the other hand, if the product does not perform as advertised, then you can ask for a refund under the guarantee.
Whenever you buy a product, you have certain expectations of the product. If the expectations are not met, then you as a customer will be very disappointed. To cater to your expectations, many companies provide Warranty or Guarantee with the product. However, consumers get confused concerning the difference between warranty and guarantee. We will explain it in detail in this article.
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What is a Warranty?
A warranty means a commitment from a manufacturer to its customers that if the product breaks or if there is any problem with the product, the manufacturer will provide free repair for the product. But the manufacturer does not commit to replacement. He commits only to repair.
This basically means that the customer is protected against sudden breakage or sudden problems with the product. If you bought a costly Refrigerator today, and it stops working one month down the line, why would you pay for the repairs? There should be a minimum time frame when the company is responsible for the product to work.
Companies, therefore, provide warranties with their product as a sign of assurance that the company is invested in the well-being of the product. In another sense, if a company does not provide a warranty for the product, then the company is not confident about the quality of the product or the liability lies with the consumer. With extended warranty options, companies ensure customers’ satisfaction in the long run.
A written warranty is different from a legal warranty. A legal warranty typically refers to additional protection that is provided by law in a specified manner, such as when a product is sold with a child’s car loan. This means that any particular defect in the product can be fixed at no cost to the customer. The written warranty, on the other hand, is a document that specifies what exactly the manufacturer will do if there are any issues or problems with the product.
Examples of Products covered under warranty – Your smartphone suddenly starts behaving weirdly. Some icons are not clicking even though you are pointing at them. As the phone is covered under 6 months warranty and it has been only a month since the purchase, you take the phone to the service center and they repair it for free. No charges are applicable.
Example of product not covered by warranty – Continuing the above example, after 2 months, the phone slips from your hand one day and you break the screen. Now this is not covered under warranty so you will have to pay for the screen to be replaced. It is the owner who is liable in such cases.
Advantages of a Warranty
Having a warranty on a product has many benefits, such as –
- The consumer is provided with peace of mind knowing that their purchase will be covered if anything goes wrong.
- During the warranty period, you do not need to pay for any repairs or services until the product is covered.
- The ability to extend the warranty by paying additional fees and not having to pay for repairs while the product is under warranty.
- Customers are given a warranty card as tangible evidence of the benefits provided by the warranty.
- In the warranty period, if the product has any defects caused by the manufacturer, consumers can get the defective part repaired or replaced.
Companies look at their own products before committing a time frame for the warranty to be applicable. If a company that manufactures goods is sure that its product will last at least 1-2 years without the need for any service, then they are most likely to give a warranty on that product.
What is Guarantee?
Guarantee is a step ahead of warranty wherein the company is so confident of their product, that they offer repair or replacement of the product. So with a binding guarantee, if there is any problem with the product, the company will first try to repair the product and then if not repaired, it will offer a free replacement.
When Amazon Kindle was launched, it was a completely new concept in the market and there was a 1-year guarantee on the product. Kindle was known to have a soft screen and its screen breaking was a problem. However, Kindle knew what percentage of their customers will suffer from this problem. Due to the guarantee in place, many customers got direct replacements for their Amazon Kindle, therefore, motivating more people to adopt the Kindle faster.
Companies like Cross Pens or Mont Blanc have a lifetime guarantee of their products. They are so confident about their products, that if anything happens to the product which is not resolved by the company, they offer free replacement to the end customer. Off course these companies have to factor in the margins for the replacement so that they are in profit at the end. But the cost of guarantee commitment is a different issue altogether.
Advantages of a Guarantee
Having a guarantee on a product has several advantages for consumers –
- Greater assurance of quality, peace of mind when making an expensive purchase, and the potential for a refund or repair if something goes wrong.
- If the manufacturer is unable to repair or replace the product, consumers can receive a refund, but only if this is not possible.
- During the guarantee period, if there are any manufacturing defects, customers have the option to either get their products repaired, replaced, or refunded.
- Consumers are entitled to a full refund if a guarantee card clearly states phrases like “no questions money-back guarantee” or “100% refund assurance.”
To make it simpler, we have made the following table to explain the difference between warranty and guarantee.
Comparison Table Warranty vs Guarantee
Despite having so many differences, warrant and guarantee are often understood as the same word. So, let’s examine this comparison chart to gain a clearer understanding of the warranty vs guarantee difference –
Difference between warranty and guarantee
|Warranty means repair but no commitment on replacement of the product.
|Guarantee means repair or if repair not possible then replacement
|What they offer
|Applicable to which kind of products or services
|Warranty is generally given for products that are known to have frequent breakdowns and are mechanical in nature - For example washing machines.
It is applicable to products only.
|Guarantees are given for products that are sturdy and robust and are unlikely to break down easily.
Although guarantees are also given for mechanical products, the mechanical product should be high-value or highly engineered. Examples of products - Premium Pens, Heavy engineering products.
It is applicable to products,services and persons.
|Refunds are not given in Warranty.
|Refunds can be given in guarantee or a replacement is made
|Paid or Free of Cost
|Warranty is covered for certain parts but there may be parts out of warranty for which payments need to be made.
|The guarantee is completely free of cost. The guarantee may cover only certain parts. Other parts of a product might be under warranty.
|After the warranty, the warranty can be extended with additional payment.
|After the guarantee period, additional guarantee cover is very rare. An additional warranty might be given.
|It is written and warranty cards are used to confirm date of purchase.
|Guarantee is a written document and generally Guarantee cards are used for the contract. Guarantee is valid from the date of purchase to the last date of guarantee
|Air conditioners might be under 1 year warranty and hence repair of air conditioners will be done free of cost.
|Cross pens are covered by guarantee and if there is ever a problem with the pen, it is either repaired or completely replaced.
|It is mostly written and valid.
|It can be oral or written, so it will not always be easy to prove.
Key Differences Between Warranty and Guarantee
Below are the major differences between a guarantee and a warranty –
- A warranty is a formal document that provides written assurance from the manufacturer to repair or replace any defective parts of a product. A guarantee, on the other hand, is a promise made by the seller or manufacturer that if the product fails to meet the specified standards, the customer can claim a refund or full replacement.
- An implied warranty usually covers the cost of repair or replacement while a guarantee usually provides for a full refund or replacement.
- The guarantee is provided at no cost, but in order to protect their interests, customers must pay for their implied warranties.
- The length of the guarantee differs depending on the item, while the warranty covers either the entire product or its components and is generally long-term.
- A warranty is a term of sale that can be either stated explicitly or suggested implicitly, while a guarantee may or may not be included as a term of sale.
- If a guarantee specifies that money back is possible, then it can be claimed, but this option is not available with a warranty.
Even though both warranty and guarantee have the same root word the Old French word garantie, which comes from the verb garantir which means “to protect,” “to warrant,” or “to guarantee,” it is crucial to comprehend the distinctions between the two terms. A warranty and a guarantee serve different purposes. A warranty offers protection against any defects in the product whereas a guarantee assures that the product will perform as claimed. Essentially, a warranty safeguards the buyer from sub-par quality, while a guarantee assures the buyer that the product or service will meet their expectations.
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