Guarantees seem to be getting longer these days. 10 years for a guarantee seems to be a tad underwhelming now. Yet, when you compare a standard 10 year guarantee to other purchases a homeowner will make, such as a car, electrical appliance or a sofa, that 10 years guarantee we give for windows suddenly looks much better. So I cannot understand why the trend at the minute is for guarantees to be getting longer.

I see more 15 year guarantees now, with the odd 20 year one too. And we all saw that lifetime guarantee offer Everest did for a little while. But I cannot understand why. For me, it’s not about a company being able to say that they’re so confident about their products that they can offer such a long one. Look at Rolls-Royce for example. They offer a 4 year warranty on their cars ( with unlimited mileage. But a 4 years, that’s where it ends. You pay a lot of money to buy a luxury car like that, but why should it be up to the manufacturer to commit themselves to decade after decade of free repairs and replacement parts?

You don’t need a mega guarantee to demonstrate the quality of your products. The quality should be enough to speak for itself. But if I was a manufacturer (which I’m not) I cannot understand why I would want to submit my company to say, a 30 year warranty, which covered things like replacement parts, sealed units and workmanship etc. It would be a huge financial burden for the business to commit to – which I don’t think is fair.

From my point of view, these extra long guarantees are a bit gimmicky. From past experience, most of my customers have told me in one way or another that a 20 or 30 year guarantee sounds false simply because of it’s length, and that they doubt that the company offering it would actually honour it.

No business should have to commit to replacing and repairing FOC for longer than is reasonable. My own view is that 10-15 years is quite long enough. No other industry I can think of offers such a long guarantee for a similarly priced product. And, as with anything else you buy, you have to look after it. The better something is looked after, the longer it will remain functional. Again, using the analogy of cars; if you don’t add oil, clean it, check the tyres, add water etc, the car will degrade and won’t last as long. It’s the same with windows and doors. Look after them well and they will last much longer than their guarantee length.

I just cannot see a practical reason for extra long guarantee other than to be used as a sales tool. In practise, I don’t think they mean much more materially. Most people doubt the industry’s guarantees in the first place, why offer anything more than the standard 10 year ones that most have come to expect?

Agree? Do you think that the pattern of extended guarantees is a financial risk most suppliers could do without? Or do you think suppliers should be committing longer to replace and repair free of charge? All comments welcome in the section below.