A customer buying a product always has a few expectations from it, and if these expectations are not fulfilled, then the customer is bound to be disappointed. Hence, companies usually provide warranty and guarantee to customers to assure them that the product is true to its description. The difference between the two terms is going to be discussed in this article.
Definitions and meanings
Warranty can be defined as written guarantee that is provided by a manufacture or a seller to a customer purchasing his product, with the promise that the product will be repaired, or replaced if required, within a specified time period. Hence, it is a formal assurance provided by the manufacturer or sellers to their customers that, for a specific time period, the product will work according to their expectations.
A warranty essentially provides a promise to the customers with respect to the product’s integrity. It asserts that the product being sold meets the criteria specified, in terms of quality, performance and durability, and in case any defects are encountered within the specified time period, they will be responsible for repairing or replacing the product, or the parts of the products against which warranty has been provided.
Warranty is applicable on tangible objects such as electronics, machines, appliances, etc. It is only applicable on products and not services. It is usually provided in written, in the form of a warranty card, which is given with the product at the time of purchase. A warranty may be considered as a contractual term; in case of violation of the warranty, the aggrieved party can make claims for damages, but they are unable to cancel the whole contract. Hence, warranty typically refers to limited liability of the product for the manufacturer. The manufacturer has to repair the faulty parts of the product when they stop working, within the given time or usage duration; however, the manufacturer is not liable to replace the entire product, or to provide a refund. However, when it is not possible to replace/repair the components, then the product may be replaced, or a refund may be provided.
Guarantee is a commitment that the manufacturer makes to the buyer that if a product is of low quality, it will be repaired or replaced, and if this is not possible, then the money paid by the buyer to obtain the product will be refunded.
Unlike warranty, guarantee covers all of the aspects of the product and is related to the basic use of the product. The manufacturer guarantees to replace/replace the product facing problems, without taking any payment from the customers. Though warranty is always provided in a written form, guarantee is usually implied (though, it may sometimes be written as a contract).
Difference between warranty and guarantee
The main difference between warranty and guarantee is discussed below:
Warranty can be viewed as a written guarantee that a company provides to its customers to assure them that if the product or any of its part is found to be defective, the product will be repaired, or replaced if required, within a certain specified time period. On the other hand, guarantee is essentially a commitment that the manufacturer makes to the buyer to repair or replace a product if it does not meet the specifications. In case repair or replacement is not possible, a full refund will be provided to the customer.
Warranty provides a limited liability of the product for the manufacturer. The manufacturer has to repair only those parts of the product that are facing defects, within the time specified in the warranty. However, the manufacturer does not have to replace the entire product. On the other hand, all aspects of the product are covered by guarantee, and in case the product is of low quality, the manufacturer guarantees to repair/replace it for the customers.
3. Pertinent to
Warranty is applicable on just products whereas guarantee applies to products as well as services.
Warranty is usually in a written form, while guarantee may be oral or written.
The buyer usually has to make an extra payment to obtain the warranty of the product, whereas guarantee is provided to the customer without an extra cost.
In case of any defects, the company is not liable to pay a refund in warranty, whereas in guarantee, a complete refund should be made to the customer, if it has been mentioned specifically.
Warranty is generally related to a particular aspect of the product, and promises to repair or replace the defective parts or components. Guarantee, on the other hand, is general and is related to the basic purpose and use of the product or service.
8. Time period
Warranty is usually provided for a long-term (2, 5, 10 years, etc.) on a part of the product or the entire product while the term for guarantee depends on the product being sold (100% guarantee, premium quality guaranteed, etc.)
Warranty vs guarantee – tabular comparison
A tabular comparison of warranty and guarantee is given below:
|A written assurance provided by the company that the product specifications mentioned are true and accurate, and in case of any defects, they will be repaired or replaced
|A promise or commitment provided by the company to repair, replace or refund a product if it does not work according to the expectations
|Limited liability; manufacturer only has to repair/replace the part that has become faulty
|Covers all aspects of the product, and the manufacturer may repair, replace the entire product if it stops working
|Products as well as services
|Written or implied
|Customers usually have to pay an extra cost to obtain the warranty
|It is provided without an extra cost
|In case of defects, the product can be repaired or replaced, but refund is not provided
|Total refund can be provided if the product/service does not meet the standards
|Specific parts or components of products
|Basic purpose and use of the product
|Usually lasts for long term, e.g., 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, lifetime, etc.
|Depends on the product, and is different for every product e.g., 100% guarantee, premium quality guaranteed, etc.
Conclusion – warranty vs guarantee
Despite seeming similar to one another, warranty and guarantee are two different terms. They are an integral part of consumer protection laws and offer rights to consumers when they are provided faulty products, or when the products are not up to the desired quality, exhibiting lower performance than expected. Hence, they are both very important as they serve as an assurance of the quality of the product.