You've just purchased new luggage for your vacation. It came with a warranty. What exactly does that mean?
Do warranties vary from state to state? Does the place of purchase have any effect on the warranty? Will they do the warranty repairs?
It is, of course, important to read the warranty. They differ from manufacturer to manufacturer and have different meanings for different products. Save your receipt and product tags along with your proof of purchase. Many people find it helpful to save the carton also, in case the luggage has to be sent to a repair facility or back to the manufacturer for repair. Most of the warranties do not cover ordinary wear and tear or damage by a common carrier such as the airlines or cruise ships. Many also have disclaimers against abuse or mishandling. Additionally, all external parts are vulnerable to damage on any luggage. Leather, moving parts and wheels for example will show wear with ordinary use and may need to be refurbished or replaced. This will not always be covered by the warranty. Many airlines and cruise lines also have disclaimers against claims for external parts. They may not pay for wheels or handles that need to be repaired or replaced.
There are very generous warranties attached to some premium brands of luggage. Mosaic Travel Gear has a "peace of mind warranty." They offer free repair or replacement for the first three years of purchase, no matter what the damage is or who has caused the problem. Thereafter, a limited lifetime warranty will cover all manufacturing defects in material and workmanship for the life of the product.
Briggs and Riley luggage is another brand with a generous no-holds-barred warranty. If their luggage is ever damaged they will fix it free of charge. You are not required to make an insurance claim or a claim against the common carrier such as the airline or cruise line. The luggage has to be returned to them for the repair.
Tumi luggage has a different warranty on the zipper, fabric and bindings. This is warranted for five years. All other components are warranted for the life of the bag as long as it is with the original owner. They do, however, charge a processing fee, which covers costs and return shipping. This fee is waived during the first year of purchase.
Some warranty repairs are done at the place of purchase, while others must be sent back to the company. Always ask before making your purchase. Claims to a common carrier such as an airline generally have to be made within 24 hours. It's usually a good idea to look over your luggage when you receive it to be sure there is no damage.
Most of the popular brands of luggage are made to withstand the rigors of travel. Just be sure to factor in the written warranty when making your purchase. Now you can start packing!
Maxine Greco has been in the luggage and travel business for over 35 years. She currently works at Village Luggage and Gifts.