With infomercials, it is hard to tell if the company or product will make good on each claims. So people naturally become excited when they see 100% satisfaction guarantee. To most people, this means that if they are not satisfied, they will get 100% of their money back. In the infomercial world, however, it is not so clear-cut. First, many companies place heavy conditions on the guarantee. We strongly suggest you not factor into your buying decision a guarantee unless you fully verify the following:
Find Out if the Guarantee is Unconditional or Conditional
First you should find out if the guarantee is conditional or unconditional. Basically this means what a company will need you to do before the refund is fully processed. Unconditional: The refund is given regardless of reason if you are not fully satisfied with the product. They may ask questions, but regardless of your answer, your refund will be processed immediately. If they say unconditional guarantee, make sure you can get it in writing (either on their official website or can print a screen shot of the fine print on their infomercial if possible. Chances are if they are a reputable company, you’ll be able to find these policies on their website. In theory, if a company uses the term:”satisfaction guaranteed” or “money-back guarantee” this should be treated the same as an unconditional money back guarantee. Per the FTC’s website:
If your ad uses phrases like “satisfaction guaranteed” or “money-back guarantee,” you must be willing to give full refunds for any reason. You also must tell the consumer the terms of the offer.
However, experience tells us most companies take another approach: They will use “money-back guarantee” in their advertising, but in their fine print explain their difficult conditions to a money-back guarantee. When they do this, you will likely have a fight to get your money back. That is why we recommend you read the fine print or get the complete details before you continue with the purchase.
Example of a Conditional Guarantee
An example of a stringent condition may be you must keep a log of your weight loss efforts on a specific program, including daily photos. If you keep a log of your use of our product daily, and keep daily photos, and you did not lose weight, then we will offer your money back. Chances are people will not do this, or think to do this unless they read the fine print. They will claim they do not owe you any refund because you did not comply with the terms of the guarantee.
What Can I Do If a Company Does Not Honor a Guarantee? If you have the guarantee in writing or can point to it on a website — we suggest you call the company directly and say you have it in writing. Politely tell them that if they do not honor the guarantee, you will call your bank for a chargeback. In addition, you will tell what you have in writing to the bank. This magic word, ‘chargeback,’ will escalate your case to top priority. This is because the bank will likely refund your account and the bank will charge the company a hefty fee to process the refund on your behalf. Most companies will opt in giving you a refund directly — so they avoid any fees from their bank.
Bottom Line Before you buy, make sure you verify the specifics of a guarantee. Get it in writing. Be willing to fight for it if they do not honor the requests at first with them, then with your bank.