We Lied, Your Watch Is Out Of Warranty: Now Give Us $106

Richard received a Casio Pathfinder digital watch as a gift. First its satellite time-syncing superpowers failed, and he called the company for help. They opened a case and assured him that since the case had been opened before his warranty expired, it was fine if he sent the watch in for repair at a later date. Then other functions started acting oddly. He sent the watch in for repair, and Casio determined that the watch was out of warranty and he’d have to pay more than a hundred bucks to get his superwatch back.

He writes:

A Casio Pathfinder 1300 watch was given to me as a gift. Within a short time it started having problems synching with the satellite. I contacted Casio repair within the warranty period, and was told that the call concerning the warranty issue was registered as of this date. I specifically asked Casio repair if I needed to return the watch as my contact was within the warranty period. I was told that a case had been opened under my phone number and it was not necessary. It was explained that often the issues can be cleared up without a major repair. I was directed to the help line to determine if a remedy could be arrived at over the phone. It did not.

Subsequent to the synching issue, the altimeter, barometer, compass and temperature functions began to perform erratically and ultimately failed. When I returned from an extensive trip I contacted Casio and returned the watch for repair. I was told that “…The extended period of time between first contact and sending in the product would make it out of warranty.” and that I would be charged approximately $106.52 for repair.

Casio is able to track the date of manufacture and determine if the watch falls into the proper time frame for warranty. Casio is aware of the issues with this watch. In online searches, there are numerous other complaints from people regarding the performance of this particular watch.

As someone who has been in business for over 35 years, we have always honored warranty issues based on the intended use and expected life of a particular application. If we build a house with a 1- year guarantee, and the cabinets fell off the wall 1 day after the expiration of the warranty, it is reasonable to assume that the standard of care for the industry for a proper application would be much longer than 1 year.

The simple application in this case is what is the expected useful life of a $250 -$300 watch? Was the watch damaged through misuse? If this is not the case, then it appears that Casio is not willing to stand by their products.

The manufacturer’s warranty on this watch lasts for one year. I’ve had $5 watches with cartoon characters on them that worked for longer than Richard’s Casio. How long should the “useful” life of a product be, and is 1/3 of the original purchase price a fair cost for repair?