Monthly Archives: September 2014

Plain language to the rescue?

Knights in shining armour

Imagine if you will, you are the founder and CEO of ABC, Co., a small to midsize company that’s been sued for millions of dollars in a breach of contract action. Next imagine that, just before sending the jury out to deliberate, you heard the judge say to them:  “It is up to you to decide what ABC, Co.’s obligations were under the contract.”  Feeling queasy? Well, here’s the kicker:  your company wrote the contract.

Recently, a scenario just like this one played itself out in a Chicago courtroom. How’d it turn out, you ask? Read on. Continue reading

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Filed under Best Practices, Court Decisions

Groundhog Day: Another piece questioning the value of extended warranties

Celtic-knot-basic-linear

The same article keeps popping up every other week or so in one publication or another. Its headline either asks if extended warranties are worth the cost or screams they are not. It gives the same advice – “buy smart” – and generally reaches the same conclusion on whether you should buy a service contract – “It depends”. See here, then here, here, herehere, and here.  Why is somebody always picking on extended warranties?

Here are 5 reasons why I think extended warranties make an easy target. Continue reading

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Filed under Customer Experience, PR & Branding, Service Contract, Warranty

Consumer Reports to consumers: Choose risk or over peace of mind

boxing clip artIn a September 6 piece, Why you should avoid home warranties, Consumer Reports again takes a shot at service contracts. Noting a recent complaint filed by New Jersey regulators against Choice Home Warranty for allegedly making it difficult to obtain benefits, CR “recommend[s] avoiding service contracts” because those “that cover homes and cars, for example, can cost hundreds of dollars.” But what if the car or home costs many thousands of dollars? Isn’t spending a few hundred bucks on a service contract worth it to minimize risk and secure peace of mind? “No,” says CR, “it makes much more sense to buy reliable products and maintain them as the manufacturer recommends.” Now it’s clear, just buy things that won’t malfunction or fail. Continue reading

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Filed under Customer Experience, Resolving Disputes, Risk Management, Service Contract, Warranty

Odds and ends in the world of warranty

notes Some interesting notes about the goings on in the warranty business. Continue reading

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Filed under Customer Experience, Service Contract, Warranty

Case Note: Court puts the brakes on implied warranty claims

brake rotor

“Merchantability” is one of those legal terms-of-art that defies precise definition. Courts ruling on implied warranty of merchantability claims generally frame the question as whether the product was “reasonably fit for its intended purpose.” But what any given jury will find to be “reasonable” is anyone’s guess. So better for the defendant that the case never get to the jury. I think Chrysler might agree. Continue reading

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Filed under Court Decisions, Resolving Disputes, Statutes & Regulations, Warranty