Customers expect your product to meet their expectations for a “reasonable” period of time. If the product fails prematurely, regardless of the warranty period, you have a quality problem. Most warranties are much shorter than the customers expectations. For example, a standard flat-screen TV warranty is 1-2 years, and no customer would expect the unit to last less than 5-10 years, which was typical of earlier generations of TVs. Today, the extended warranty business is a huge profit center for “big-box” stores.
More than an inconvenience…
Reliability may be a matter of life and death. The transportation (aircraft, auto & truck, marine), military, energy (oil, mining, nuclear) and medical equipment industries routinely make design and management decisions that can result in hazards that involve bodily injury or death to customers and/or employees.
This question appeared in This is a classic question, where many lives are at stake, that was in Parade Magazine, Nov. 2012.
Here is her answer.
Did she really answer the question? Yes and no. She is not totally wrong, but the in-depth answer also should include other factors, such as:
- Component specifications;
- Reliability engineering (how much before units begin to fail);
- Certification of components;
- Preventive maintenance and testing;
…more to come