Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lifetime Gurantee

One of my first jobs, well actually my fourth job, not including my freelance craft and art work that I started when I was 16 (I really didn't like working for the "man" even then) was working in the pet department of a major department store.

Could I tell you some stories about my few years working there, like the day I picked up a bag of snakes and a bag of frogs from one store and kept them in my bathtub until I could get them to another store. But that's a story for another post.

We sold mostly parakeets and fresh water fish, but we had small animals, hamsters, gerbils, mice, snakes and lizards, and occasionally a spider monkey. They were mean.

We had one and only one animal with a lifetime guarantee. If you purchased one of our parakeets, you got a lengthy piece of paper with a certificate for a lifetime guarantee. We had to fill them out at the time of sale, sign them and hand them over to the buyer, who took their little bird home in it's cardboard box and never took a second look at the certificate they filed away in their important papers.

A lifetime guarantee on a parakeet. The purpose of course was to protect the buyer if the bird passed in the first few days, which is possible when bringing a young delicate creature in a new environment. But more often is was the little old lady, sobbing and crying, who after 5-10 with their loving parakeet, would bring their cold little bodies to us in a cardboard box, The fine print on that certificate? The parakeet is guaranteed for life, but what you get is a replacement parakeet of your choice.

I can't begin to tell you how many of the sniffling little old ladies broke down when they heard they weren't getting their money back. They didn't want another bird, how could they love another, their sweet bird was barely in it's grave (not really, it was in that cardboard box). We really didn't require the body either, but they never read the certificates.

There just HAS to be a moral to this story. But I'm not even sure what it is. Oh, maybe you can offer your buyer a lifetime guarantee on your product, because chances are, they'll either loose their certificate, or never read the fine print.

1 comment:

Pili said...

Lifetime guarantee? Well, what's the expected life of a parakeet? I'm guessing they wouldn't outlive a human anyways... quite an odd story!

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