Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What does a warrantee mean?

The other day I bought a plastic lunch box from the local supermarket. Pasted on the side of the box was a brief message that the box had a “Lifetime Warrantee”. I accepted this at face value, paid for the box and took it home.

Only then did I start to think, what does the “Lifetime Warrantee” actually mean? My lifetime? The lifetime of the box?(You may well ask, “And how long is that?”). What would happen if the box broke and I contacted the manufacturers? “Well I am very sorry about that sir, but you see the box has reached the end of its life and the warrantee now no longer applies”. Ha!

It is all just spin. It gives the purchaser (me), I suppose, some fuzzy, feel good sense, that someone “out there” is protecting his interests. What a load of garbage.

All it actually does is to diminish the value of the word warrantee. Just as other words have been diminished – like “gay” for example. The word gay used to mean someone who was light hearted and carefree. That is certainly not what it means now is it? Another one is “love”. This word is now so grossly misused that a new word has been developed to take its place – “cool”.

Much of this can be laid at the door of advertisers and ‘spin doctors’. They will use anything, image or word, to get their message across. Sad really; it is misleading and certainly not ethical.

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