A couple of days ago I broke my sunnies. Yeah, painful I know. I dropped them to the floor and the right lens just cracked. Boohoo.
(Stock photo of the Rayban 2132, which is sorely missed).
Now I actually expected that you know, these are Ray-bans, they should be able withstand minimal impact. It’s not like I dropped them from the 50th storey of a building. I’ve had two other Raybans which withstood far heavier beating - except that I misplaced and lost both of them (a moment of silence for them please) over time.
Since I thought it was weird for a quality Ray-ban lens to just crack like that, and because I bought it not too long ago and it should still be covered by manufacturer’s warranty, I thought perhaps I should let the Ray-ban doctors do an autopsy and check if the lens was faulty in the first place. As in, I took it upon myself to actually see what can be done with warranty. So I sent the seller, who’s based in the US, an email asking about warranty details. I was then asked by the seller to contact the manufacturer in the US (in this case, Luxottica, the company that makes Ray-bans), which then asked me to contact the local Luxottica branch here in Australia.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Why go through all the trouble? I dropped the sunnies - that should be the end of the story, right?
Well, first of all, I wanted to know how warranty claims work in the real world. The thing about warranties here in Australia is that they are actually honoured, so long as of course you have a legit claim. Coming from Asia where warranties are generally offered (‘coz the guys from Legal said so’) but you have to go through the eye of a needle to actually be able to claim them, I realised when I moved here in Australia that this country is big on quality and Australian companies actually deliver on their warranty promises. In fact, some shops like Dick Smith would advertise “no questions asked” policy on their warranties - which is very appealing for customers. If something is defective, just return it, no dramas. If you simply change your mind, in most cases you can also return the product provided the tags are all in place. I order a lot of stuff online and one thing that I make sure is the online store offers free returns.
As an auditor (eeek, I just disclosed my profession!), I also know that companies need to make a “provision” for warranties in their accounting books - an expense and liability on the part of the company. So the second reason for actually spending time to pursue this is for me to see what Ray-ban’s appetite is like for accepting or entertaining claims and translating those provisions into actual outflow. Would they hear me out? Would they stand by the quality of their products and at least inspect my broken sunnies? Would my sunnies turn out to have a manufacturing defect and they’d happily provide a replacement? Should you not bother reading that small warranty pamphlet that came with the sunnies because it’s unlikely you’re gonna be able to claim anyway?
Stay tuned - I’ll let you know what happens in the coming days. Exciting times!