A lifetime guarantee is an appealing claim to customers as you can purchase an item with the assurance that you can have a lifetime supply of it. Even if something breaks down, the onus falls on the manufacturer to fix or replace it.
It almost sounds too good to be true in some instances. Kent Slaughter tested the policy by buying a dozen pairs of socks from Bass Pro Shops. Over the years, Slaughter brought several pairs of threadbare RedHead Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose Wool Socks back to the Bass Pro store in Springfield, Missouri, where he purchased the socks. He had no issues with swapping the old socks for brand new ones.
However, the last attempt at trading in the “lifetime warranty” socks was unsuccessful. The store manager offered to trade his current socks, valued at $11.99, for another pair that has a 60-day warranty.
Currently, Slaughter is suing the shop for misleading customers with an empty promise that no longer lasts a lifetime. He filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Western Missouri, requesting a jury trial. He proposes $5 million in damages for himself and others that join his lawsuit.
According to a statement released by Singleton Schreiber, the California-based law firm representing Slaughter, “This lawsuit is about one simple principle: a corporation’s obligation to tell consumers the truth. Bass Pro Shop made a promise to its customers when it offered its RedHead socks with a lifetime guarantee. Those words should mean something.”
A lifetime warranty is a significant selling point in the company’s marketing and advertising efforts. The lawsuit references a YouTube video featuring a Bass Pro store manager in Nashville, and he said, “RedHead lifetime sock. If anything ever happens — if the dryer steals one of them on you — you bring the other one in, and we give you a brand new pair of socks.”
If the company means 60 days as a lifetime, they may be disappointed with a longer life expectancy.