“A formal assurance that certain conditions will be fulfilled, especially that a product will be of a specified quality”
“A written guarantee promising to repair or replace an article if necessary within a specified period.”
These words have become a laughing stock now a days. There is no limit for giving this seal on any item manufactured under the Sun. These words are euphemism for cheating and escapism in most cases with funny excuses.
In earlier times, this seal of guarantee was given to those very costly and prestigious items wherein the manufacturer had the fullest confidence that his goods will surely stand the test of the time. Certain brand names enjoyed this seal and signature of guarantee.
The products from A to Z with ‘Made in Germany’, Made in England’, ‘Made in USA’ and ‘Made in Japan’ were the first trade mark symbols of quality goods that enjoyed the benefits of guarantee. No specific seal of guarantee or ‘hearsay’ were required to prove its quality. One can even close his eyes and buy them.A real mark of surety and security that has etched in the minds of people for the price it bears. The term ‘real quality control’ in industry, I am sure, has taken roots from here.
This term started from the manufacturers of capital items like machineries, heavy vehicles, cars and the sort. Since these were of slow moving items, they had to stick to the market trends to sell and gain a permanent confidence and rapport from the users. There were times of less competition. Along with the items, they used to give guaranteed services and the sale of the spare parts of the regularly wearing items over a period of time. These parts were made and sold under OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) category. These OEM marks on the sealed packets were again a mark of guarantee as it were sold by the same makers of the capital goods.
Slowly this term ‘guarantee’ got into different brains and started spreading and most of them thought that this is a bench mark to boost the sale of the products. Someone might have taught the idea of Standard Deviation and Expectations that with a 50- 50 chance; their product will get sold off. Only the alert will attack and mediocre will melt out.
As the industry grew in leaps and bounds, the entire items could not be made possible under the same roof. Then began the outsourcing. Some reputed companies came forward and started making the parts for the makers of OE with the help of their drawings and samples and gave the same guarantee concept.
The automobile industry and the railways are the world’s largest outsourcers today apart from shipping and airways industries.
The growth of unrecognized and underground sources created a spurt and played a ‘spoil sport’ in the quality of spares for these industries. Unfortunately there is no yardstick to curb these as it runs with the help of the vested interests and has grown like mushrooms and spreading like virus.
While the market of the main and the original makers suffered a setback, these sources thrived.
The ‘birth’ of the fascinating idea of making the ‘spurious’ spare parts or duplication must be the brain child of a crooked and ’uncouth looking’ man who might have seen his reflection in the mirror! A real ‘look alike’ concept was born!
Very much before Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell could clone a sheep Dolly!
A doubt exists in my mind regarding the originality of the name “Dolly”!
A guarantee cannot be given! Was it culled out from the original name Dolly Parton, singer and actress? As the lamb was cloned from the mammary cells! A duplication in name here also?
Of late, showing originality and giving guarantee are both difficult and impossible task to surmount!
In India, the concept of selling spare parts for the automobiles would have definitely germinated from the land of five rivers! Very enterprising, dare devils in Army and equally in any type of business ventures.
My imagination in this regard goes a little bit in an amusing way. Most probably two natives of the same land would have met with a head on collision of their brand new trucks. As the trucks could not possibly be able to put back in the original condition, a lightning idea of a joint venture, to dismantle them into parts and set up a small shop and a service station at the spot itself and sell them to the passerby trucks when needed, would have formed. The first OEM spare parts centre. Then the never ending story of duplication and even refurbishments of old bearings and gears and all that came to the hand.
This catastrophic storm has blown all over India to such an extent that the spare parts are ready in the show cases of Indian markets by the time the sketch of the design of a new model on the design table in Japan is born! Even the speed of light is slower than the speed of duplication!
In the trick of duplication even the Reserve Bank Governor was shocked to see the fake notes with his own signature! Even UV and Infra red lights and X Ray fails in deducting it. If a common man gets it, see and feel his or her plight. What a statement: I promise to pay the bearer…..What a guarantee given or rather promised! Police are trying their best to put an end to this, but it surfaces again.
The OEM made all such innovation as fixing holograms, packing in onetime open packs and all, but to no avail. Duplicators went few steps further as the OEM could not find the difference. At last they left to the fate of the unlucky users to decide, heaving a sigh of relief that this is also a type of popularizing their product without many advertisements. The word guarantee was removed just like the word ‘on demand’ from the rupee note.
The same happened in the electronic media as well. The good old time of radio with brand names like ‘Murphy’,’ and ‘Bush’ was all duplicated in the by lanes of interior suburbs. Much before Taiwan and China took the front seat in the latest electronic era! They had even sold an Indian made National Panasonic to the Japanese! Only trick they made was creating a ‘kink’ in ‘o’. ‘Notionol Ponosonic’ by striking with a small hammer on the right bottom corner of letter ‘o’ to look like ‘a’. These crude contrivances will even work in wet condition with an unwritten guarantee of six months! Even life time guarantee is offered! They mean ‘as long as it works’ is the life span!
The everyday up gradation of models made in China, Taiwan and Korea and the features they display has made the yesterday models obsolete. The old time ‘Use and preserve for a long duration’ became “antiques”. ‘Use and throw’ became the modern mantra for the new generation. In this field there is hardly any duplication as the trend changes in nanoseconds. Generally no warranty can be expected and there is no time to think about that.
The computer printers are doing an amazing job now with super fast speed. The documents are printed like Original. The good uses are misused.
When I wrote the word nanoseconds, I have to warn the people to be very cautious in dealing with Credit cards. By the time the card is swapped and returned, it will be duplicated.
So be careful. The days are not far. By the time one goes inside the toilet, the man coming out through the other door can be your duplicate! Cloned!
Thus in every step, the size of the font of guarantee got reduced to zero. The assured guarantee is that, if it is dumped in a waste bin, nobody will take it and use. Even beggars are choosers.
The trend of guarantee changed into a new word as Warranty when the globalization started. Keeping Consumer goods were considered as a status symbol. They became a necessity at a later stage as the number of persons and the space got reduced along with the time. The automation in every walk of life in the kitchen, washing room and everywhere became a ‘must’. New concept, new design, new models are churned out periodically making the older versions obsolete. No spare parts available to run them. The Indian Vaasthu and the Feng Sui, the Chinese counterparts are playing a sentimental trick to go for new.
Every time a new gadget is purchased, the warranty card is issued with umpteen numbers of conditions. By the time it could be deciphered properly, the warranty period would have elapsed. Again, at every corner of the card, there will be a term: conditions apply. What are the conditions? Nobody seems to know. In total the guarantee for the product is zero.
See the condition of the construction of International Airports. The roof is falling, the toilet is leaking, and the list gets elongated. No guarantee or no warranty for the gaping hole in the escalator steps!
In the Super specialty hospitals, there is no guarantee that one will return with all the organs intact!
[Courtesy: COMA by Robin Cook]
In some situations we see the words:” If not pleased with the product, refund will be given, provided it is in the Original Condition and Packing”. This is in fact the advertisement for ‘Bra’ that appeared.
Most probably the manufacturer must be a ‘male’ expecting a ‘transparency’ in his deal! May be “make, see, feel and pack” must be his business theme. Only suitable for Busts, Statues and Mannequins in museums and shops. With a foot note: NOT TO BE TOUCHED.
Recently a big Pyrotechnic cracker company in his ad and in the glittering outer wrapper of the products has written a similar looking statement: Full refund will be given, if none of them are bursting properly, provided they are brought back in the Original Condition.
Most possibly, the maker must have learnt life in an explosive way and might have learnt the theory of “point of no return”.
Again another ad for Inverters: 42 months warranty, but no guarantee for the battery! After all it contains only two parts. The battery and the electronic rectifier to convert from a/c to d/c and vice versa. If we happen to purchase, it will be impossible to contact him and the person brought it and delivered at your door step.
Before coming to an end, an incident that had happened comes to my mind.
One house owner called a carpenter to fix the entrance door. The carpenter came and fixed it and left. After few hours the house owner tried to open the door and the door fell down. He called the carpenter again and showed him the situation. Quick came the question from the carpenter: Did anyone open the door?
Dated 4th January 2014