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Gordon Parker
15 May 2023, 9:50 AM

Warranties vs. Guarantees - A Guide

Warranty card with terms and conditions

When shopping for products or services, you may encounter terms like "guarantee" and "warranty." While both offer consumer protection, they differ in their coverage and terms. Let's delve into the dissimilarities between guarantees and warranties to help you grasp their implications.

What is a guarantee?

A guarantee is a promise made by the manufacturer or seller that ensures the buyer's satisfaction or the product's quality and performance. It often includes assurances such as a refund, replacement, or repair if the product fails to meet specified criteria within a given period. Guarantees typically have a fixed duration, such as 12, 24, or 36 months, and may be subject to certain conditions or exclusions. They serve as an additional incentive to boost consumer confidence in the product's reliability.

What is a warranty?

In contrast, a warranty typically offers coverage for a longer duration compared to a guarantee. In the bedding industry, one of the most common types of warranties is a prorated warranty, especially for products like mattresses. With a prorated warranty, if you need to repair or replace your mattress, you are required to pay a pre-calculated fee or a percentage of the cost. As the mattress ages and experiences gradual deterioration from extended use, the prorated fee increases. In the final year of the warranty, it is not uncommon for customers to be responsible for up to 90% of the repair or replacement cost. The same principle applies to refunds, where the older the mattress, the lower the amount you would receive in terms of its initial value.


The key distinction between a guarantee and a warranty lies in their nature and coverage. A guarantee focuses on short-term assurances of quality or satisfaction, while a warranty provides longer-term coverage against defects and malfunctions. Guarantees typically offer fixed benefits for a specified duration, whereas warranties provide diminishing coverage as the product ages.

When considering a purchase, it's crucial to carefully review the terms and conditions of both guarantees and warranties. Pay attention to the duration of coverage, specific inclusions and exclusions, any required maintenance or registration, and the process for making a claim. Understanding these details will help you assess the level of protection provided and make an informed decision.

In summary, while both guarantees and warranties aim to provide consumer protection, they diverge in their coverage and terms. Guarantees offer short-term assurances of satisfaction or product performance, while warranties provide longer-term coverage against defects and malfunctions. Being aware of the dissimilarities between guarantees and warranties will empower you to make informed purchasing choices and ensure that your consumer rights are safeguarded.

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