Winter is coming and as soon as the temperature drops even a little, people rush out to get the latest fashions and trends for their winter coat. One company that never fails to pull a large crowd, however, is North Face. Durable, reliable, and worth every penny, North Face happily boasts that every one of their jackets comes with a lifetime warranty.
While this may sound almost too good to be true—and it is—many people swear by the warranties that they are given by a company. However, before purchasing this product with the expectation that it will be covered for the rest of your life, take a moment to really investigate what the North Face company means when they say “lifetime.” Breaking down North Face’s lifetime warranty shows the cracks in the coverage that may have some costumers a bit angry about what they’re receiving.
For starters, the “lifetime” they mention, is not your lifetime, but rather the expected lifetime of the product. They don’t state exactly how long this is, but it’s clear that they don’t expect it to be very long. In their FAQ, they give an example of their less-than-lifetime expectation for their sleeping bag products. This leaves a lot of room for questioning just how long they expect each of their products to last.
While your product may have some wear and tear over the course of its first few years, many companies will cover the cost of replacing or repairing products that wear over a reasonable amount of time. North Face, however, does not. Their lifetime warranty only covers damage caused by the manufacturer or because of something outside of the realm of normal wear and tear. This phrase is very loose and doesn’t quite explain what the company expects to happen naturally over the course of the product’s life.
There are other hidden holes in their warranty as well. For example, if the product needs to be cleaned during the inspection process, then you are responsible for those costs. And this doesn’t even guarantee that your product will be accepted and repaired or replaced after it’s been cleaned and inspected. You’re also responsible for filling out an application for repair, as well as sending the product in and paying for shipping. If the product gets lost on the way to the company, they take no responsibilities for it. By the time you’ve finished struggling through the process of trying to get your North Face jacket repaired, you might as well just buy a brand new one—possibly from a company that is clearer and more specific about the things they will and will not cover under their warranty.
For many, the cost of a North Face is covered by their manufacturing and the durability of the product. For those who are taking the lifetime warranty into account when purchasing the product, make sure you understand how little is covered under the clause, and how hard it will be to actually have your product repaired or replaced in the case that something does happen.