What is a Warranty?

Apr 27, 2012 View Comments by

According to Webster’s: “a deed warranting that the grantor has a good title free and clear of all liens and encumbrances and will defend the grantee against all claims”. Much if you will like a promise, also according to Webster: “a declaration that gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act”.

Now I am no Legal Beagle, far from it, in most cases I am so naive that I think most people are really honest and can be taken for their word. You know, “Their word is their bond.” Which is probably why I have been screwed over so often, meaning, if being a “victim” a number of times is akin to experience, then I am very experienced.

Here are a number of words that can be clumped together, for instance: Word, guarantee, assurance, insurance, pledge, bond, promise, and of course, warranty. These all have one thing in common; they are all only as good as the institution, business, or person who makes them. It’s their intent that dictates how much real good there is in their words. If their only intention (spoken or implied) is to protect their interests, at whatever costs, including your rights, then that so called “warranty” isn’t worth the paper its written on, or in these days; the email that it is attached too.

Lawyers, to specifically protect their client’s interests against all-comers, create too many legal documents. Yet, this is really the scope of their job, and rightly so, it’s what they get paid for. This means that for you, and I, we really don’t have much to cling to if the people/company we are dealing with are not themselves trustworthy, or at least in fear of losing their reputation.

The old saying: “Go with your gut” was never truer than it is today. If trust cannot be established, then a mere document of “escape clauses” will offer little shelter, nor comfort. Or put another way “trust, but confirm.” Ride on.

Line art from: The Wildest Old Engravings and Illustrations: A Copyright Free Handbook by Dick Sutphen

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About the author

A Wisconsin farm boy, I learned how to ride a cow, before a horse and way before a motorcycle. I first started riding on my 16th birthday and I took my first real ride at my party: I pulled a wheelie and dug a trench in the lawn, which sent the bike in one direction and me in another. I was irrevocably hooked!