What does "Satisfaction Guaranteed" Mean?

Michael Pollick

There is generally an implied trust between manufacturers and consumers that the products will indeed perform as advertised. A food product will be fresh and flavorful, a replacement part will fit properly, or a toy will perform all the stunts demonstrated in a television commercial. In order to make sure the consumer is completely satisfied with a purchase, many retailers and manufacturers use the phrase satisfaction guaranteed. This simple slogan is meant to assure consumers that the product or service will meet their needs, or else the store or manufacturer will replace it, fix it or refund the customer's money.

Many consumers will not purchase an expensive product unless it comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
Many consumers will not purchase an expensive product unless it comes with a satisfaction guarantee.

The phrase satisfaction guaranteed is often used as an advertising slogan more than a legally binding contract. The implication is that the product or service is so reliable or consistent in quality that the manufacturer or service provider is willing to stand behind it. This doesn't necessarily mean the product or service has an absolutely perfect performance history, but it does mean the customer will be guaranteed some form of satisfaction even if the product does not meet his or her expectations.

An unsatisfied customer may complain to store employees.
An unsatisfied customer may complain to store employees.

"Satisfaction Guaranteed" has occasionally been translated by a consumer very literally, and the result is often legal action against the manufacturer or service provider. While a store manager or manufacturer may see a cash refund or a replacement as an acceptable form of customer satisfaction, some customers may want further reparations or reimbursements before they feel satisfied. Incidents involving product tampering or contamination, for example, often do not end with an acceptable replacement or cash refund. If a defective product causes damage to a customer's clothing or other personal property, the manufacturer may offer to pay for those damages in order to satisfy the customer.

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Many retail and grocery stores offer their own version of satisfaction guaranteed. If a particular product does not satisfy a customer, the store may offer a double refund upon the return of the defective product. If a rival store offers a discounted price for the same product, a store may honor the price difference through a refund. Customer satisfaction is essential for many companies, so an assurance such as "satisfaction guaranteed" is one way to generate repeat business. A consumer may need to know that a refund or replacement is available before making a significant purchase or trying a product for the first time.

Many grocery stores offer a version of 'satisfaction guaranteed'.
Many grocery stores offer a version of 'satisfaction guaranteed'.

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Discussion Comments


Crispety- I bought a mattress at Mattress Giant and they told me the same thing and luckily I was happy with my mattress and did not need to return it.

I know that Sunglass Hut offers a satisfaction guaranteed return. When I bought my glasses, the sales associate told me about it - it also was printed on the receipt.

The company processes returns up to 90 days of purchase. Sunglass Hut understands that sunglasses that you try on at the counter may not appeal to you once you are home and most of these glasses range in price from $100 to $400 or more.

They really want their customers to feel comfortable with their purchase. As a matter of fact, if your glasses get broken as a result of your actions they will offer you a second pair of identical glasses with a 50% discount off of the original price.

You will have to bring the defective glasses to the counter in order to receive this offer.


When businesses state that satisfaction guaranteed or your money back it is usually so customers will get past the fear of not being able to return something if it does not work for them.

Bedding stores generally do this because a mattress purchase is expensive and the more expensive something is the more risky the purchase becomes.

Mattress Giant for example offers a thirty day money back guarantee if you are not happy with the mattress.

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