Built to Last
Lifetime guarantees are increasingly rare in the retail world, but consumers bear at least some of the blame. A horde of online dumpster divers forced L.L. Bean to discontinue its lifetime guarantee after they raided secondhand shops for goods they returned for new gear. Customers sued, but the policy's reduction to one year of coverage remains in effect. A few years before that, a rapidly expanding REI made a similar change to its policy after years of abuse. It isn't that companies aren't standing behind their products: They're just getting a little tired of handing out goods to people who went on scavenger hunts for someone else's cast-off gear. Not every company has lost faith, however.
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