Consumer Basics


Watch out for loopholes in those guarantees.

GUARANTEED. Companies use the word all the time – it’s supposed to mean something, but whether or not it actually does after all these years of over-usage is something entirely different.  As a consumer, you have the right to a full refund of a good’s or service’s purchase price if the sale was made under the assurance of “satisfaction guaranteed.”

Guarantee details must either be made clear in the ad, or customers must be offered guidance as to how they can obtain further information – and any restrictions or limits on a customer’s ability to take advantage of guarantee provisions (such as a certain period of time, level of product usage, or re-sale-related provisions) must be disclosed by the advertiser.

Click here to see just one example of a well-known American company that was accused of fast and loose use of the word “guarantee” in its advertising – and it cost the company $12 million!

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