We have all purchased something with a lifetime warranty at some point .
But one Fairfield, Ohio man is wondering why his GPS unit's lifetime protection and update plan lasted only three years.
Bought GPS because of free updates
John Myers prefers to drive with a dash-mounted GPS, rather than his smartphone, for navigation. That may change, however, now that he can no longer update his Magellan device.
The lack of updating concerns him, as he drives a lot for his consulting business.
"When it's not updated you never now if it's going to be correct or not," Myers said.
He says the six-year-old device came with "lifetime map updates," according to the box and instruction manual.
But when Myers tried to update it, nothing happened, and he got some bad news when he called.
"It was a three-year deal, the lifetime was three years on the unit," he said,"and therefore there are no more updates available on it."
It might not have been such a bad deal, except when you look at the box the unit came in, it says "lifetime," not once, not twice, but three different times.
"There is even a medallion on the box that says 'lifetime updates included,'" Myers said.
So we checked, and Magellan's website clearly says a device's useful life is considered to be three years from first use.
Tricky lifetime deals to be wary of
You should always be cautious of the word "lifetime," especially when it comes to warranties. Among those that catch consumers:
- Lifetime Used car warranties: It's typically only the powertrain, which means unless the engine or transmission fails, it probably won't be covered. Also, you must keep meticulous details of all oil changes in most case.
- Lifetime roof and deck warranties: The roof must usually must leak, or boards in the deck must fall apart to get a free repair. Peeling and discoloring typically do not qualify for replacement.
- Lifetime fitness club deals: That low, low rate is often good until the club closes or gets a new name or owner.
- Lifetime cellphone plans: In most cases, it is until that particular package or phone is no longer offered.
John Myers said without new maps, he no longer trusts his GPS unit.
"I think it's ridiculous," he said.
We contacted Magellan's parent company to ask why they set a three-year limit, and see if they could help him in any way, but have yet to hear back.
Meantime, remember that lifetime is anything a company wants it to be, and is certainly not your lifetime.
As always, don't waste your money.
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)
For more consumer news and money saving advice, go to www.dontwasteyourmoney.com
Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org