At this very moment a good friend of mine is in a dust-up with a rental car company. After hearing (my friend’s version of) “the facts,” and harkening back fondly to my law school days, I thought his tale just might make an interesting hypothetical to launch a discussion on “customer experience,” and I’m hoping the reader(s) of this blog will chime in. Continue reading
Can a company use warranty to help drive sales? It sure can. Just ask Hyundai Motors. It saw its market share jump from 1.1% to 4% after it extended its powertrain warranty in 1999. You might also want to put the question to Volkswagen, which saw its sales drop 30% in the three years after it shortened its powertrain warranty in 2002. Continue reading
The International Conference on Warranty Chain Managment kicks off Tuesday, March 10, 2015, at the Hilton Miami Downtown Hotel in Miami, Florida. I’ll be there to deliver a workshop entitled: “What Customer Service Personnel Should Know About Warranty Law and Service Contract Regulation.” For a preview, check out the most recent Warranty Week.
To register for the conference, click here.
Yesterday, a federal jury in Cleveland ruled for Whirlpool Corp. in a warranty-based class action involving allegedly defective front-loading washing machines. As discussed in an earlier post, the case had been up and down to the Supreme Court, and given the Court’s recent class action rulings, that was it was allowed to proceed to trial was rather unexpected. Continue reading
Recent federal court decisions relaxing the standards for class action certification must have plaintiff class action lawyers around the country celebrating. It now seems that a mere handful of customer complaints can support a class action lawsuit on any consumer product. What should manufacturers do to address this development and resulting increase in liability exposure? Should they spend more money up front to resolve warranty claims, before they end up in suit? Or, should they fight it out in court and hope to curtail the recent trend? Either way, we suspect manufacturers’ costs are going up. Continue reading
Competition benefits consumers far more than so-called consumer protection laws and the red-tape they’re wrapped in. The former delivers better quality and service and a lower price, while the latter needlessly drives up costs on both sides of the transaction and keeps seedy lawyers in business. Want proof? Look at what Kia is doing in Australia, and why. Continue reading
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
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, here, here, 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