For anyone who doesn’t know this already, always treat any lifetime warranty as a complete and utter scam. I have piles and piles of Meineke and Midas “lifetime warranty” packets in my files, each one representing new mufflers and brakes on the same vehicles. You see, the “lifetime warranty” never covers the type of wear you have actually experienced.
Latest liar: Safelite Auto Glass. Their windshield split horizontally on me from edge to edge in the space of about 10 minutes while driving across town. They claim to have a lifetime warranty as well. I just went in circles with their rep. An instant crack the entire length of the windshield is not condsidered a defect in workmanship, it is considered incidental damage or normal wear. After arguing with their rep for twenty minutes, I have been made to understand that a “defect in workmanship” that would get replaced under “warranty” occurs only if the installer brings a piece of glass that is already cracked, somehow doesn’t notice, installs it in your car anyway, and you manage to spot it before he leaves. That’s when the warranty kicks in. Careful, though… if you don’t happen to notice the crack until after he leaves, then too bad… they won’t cover it, because they won’t have any way to verify that you’re telling the truth about it being cracked from the start and that you didn’t put the crack there.
I got them to “escalate” me to another number, supposedly a direct line to the warranty people, but of course, it just gives me an answering machine.
Not that I really believed that Safelite’s “lifetime” warranty would be any better than the cut-rate muffler shops’ examples. I did, however, hope that a difficult-to-replace and rather expensive component like a windshield would last longer than something like a cut-rate muffler. But I was wrong… They each last exactly nine months before turning to shit.
Hippy, dippy, socialist Europe has tons of consumer protection laws for these situations… laws that we in this country hate. I’m so glad we’re not like them. In this country, we prefer that companies be allowed to make any claims they want, to offer worthless warranties to us for big bucks, and we don’t care if they really mean it— because the government is bad (even though it’s “of the people”) and more importantly, The Marketplace will make it all right in the end. If you’re rich, you deserve to be, and if you’ve been scammed, you deserved that too– The Marketplace knows what it is doing; it is never wrong. And in the meantime, we each can know that we’re doing our part for the economy and for freedom and the fight against terrorism by buying American.