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Lifetime Guarantee on tools

I got some Halfords vouchers for christmas and went out and got myself some ratchet spanners, very happy with them but the 17mm spanner had a slipping ratchet, the rest of the set are good, very well made and almost Snap On quality.

Dug the receipt out yesterday and finally took them back for what I thought would be an easy refund, well it was an awful lot of hassle, the young girl on the till went off to get a replacement spanner and came back with a wobble head one, I said it's not from the same set and she said does it matter, well I told her I would have bought individual spanners had I wanted a mismatched set.

She got the manager out and he goes, we will have to order you a replacement 17mm spanner, by now I was dying to ask the obvious question and said why can't you take this faulty set back and give me a new set from the shelf, that's not company policy he goes, so I returned with is it company policy to sell something that isn't fit for purpose...... Got a new set on the spot.

The thing that worried me is that the Lifetime Guarantee is open to interpretation, is it my lifetime? the lifetime on the tool? also a lot of the time you need the original purchase receipt to show proof of purchase and how many of us can say we keep every single receipt for everything we buy just incase we need to take it back 5 years down the line.

Also in the current economic climate you may go to return a faulty product with a lifetime guarantee only to find that the company that originally sold it have gone bust.
Cannondale, handmade in USA............................................Refined in Surrey, England.
- Cannondale F500, Kona Blast, Kona Caldera-
For cycling tools I have stuck with campy, park & craftsman. Brands are no guarantee. The new Irwin Vise Grips are junky compared with the older USA made. Don't really know if they have "lifetime" guarantee. Never have had an issue. Some of the tools are from '78. Sticking with maybe pricey tools reduces the chance of having to deal with warranty issues. My impression is "Lifetime" guarantee is more of a marketing ploy.
Sticking with quality made tools is important. I've found the best to be made in the USA but more expensive. Besides Park, there is also S-K and Wright, but not bike specific. Snap-On is way over priced and primarily for free delivery to auto mechanics but their warranty is excellent. No questions asked. You can always send most USA-made tools in to the manufacturer for warranty replacement, no matter where ya bought them. Even garage sale purchases are acceptable. They don't ask for receipts while many imported tools require receipts to warranty them. But always contact them first to get an RGA (return goods authorization). Otherwise they will be lost.

Craftsman on the other hand has been changing to Asian made tools but their warranty continues to be as good as Snap-On's. No questions asked. In general, I refuse to sell the Craftsman Asian made tools though. I think it's better to have a reliable quality tool than one that is low quality and easy to warranty. Smile

Irwin vise grips USED to be good when they were made in Nebraska. The USA-made were actually called ViseGrips. The Irwin models are the buy-out change. Now they are made in Asia and quality has fallen. You can find the older ones at a garage sale, BUY THEM. Warranty replacement will only be with Asian though. There are still a few unused ones around that I can get though, if I'm lucky. Just let me know through my website what you are looking for.

Junkyard Tools rescued from the junkyard!
Garage sales, estate sales, used store are the "goldmine" for quality tools.
Thanks for the link to your website KC-Steve.

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