What is a Service Guarantee?

Lori Smith

A service guarantee is a promise that a service or product will meet certain consumer expectations or standards. Many times it is provided to the consumer in writing. If the product fails to perform as promised, the vendor may offer replacement of the item, refund the purchase price, or offer other forms of reimbursement, like a store credit. The purpose of it is to instill consumer confidence.

A pest control company may offer a guarantee that bugs won't enter the home following extermination.
A pest control company may offer a guarantee that bugs won't enter the home following extermination.

The type of promise that a merchant makes may differ, depending on the product or service. It is not uncommon for a service guarantee to be predicated on the consumer meeting specific terms and conditions. This places some of the responsibility on the customer.

A service guarantee ensures that a product will meet certain consumer standards.
A service guarantee ensures that a product will meet certain consumer standards.

Stipulations to a service guarantee may prohibit tampering with a product or require that certain maintenance schedules are followed. It may also outline what the consumer is required to do in order to prevent the malfunction of a product. If the specified conditions are not met, the guarantee may be voided.

Conditional agreements often apply to automobile warranties. For example, a service guarantee for an engine may require scheduled maintenance at regular intervals, such as changing the oil change every three months. If the engine were to malfunction as a result of the oil not being changed on schedule, the guarantee could be canceled. It is important for a customer to follow the provisions provided.

A number of industries incorporate a service guarantee in the sale of their services. For instance, dry cleaning business may promise that clothing will be clean and ready within 24 hours, and a pest control company may offer assurance that bugs will not enter the home after extermination. Many times, a service guarantee offers the customer a refund if the client is dissatisfied.

A money back guarantee is sometimes offered to encourage a customer to purchase a product. If the consumer is disappointed with the item, he or she can usually return it for a full refund. This is designed to combat the customer hesitation, and make him or her feel that there is nothing to lose by purchasing the item.

A price guarantee is usually made when a company wants to convey that their product will cost the same, or less, than the exact item sold someplace else. Often this provides for a cash refund of the difference, if the same item is found at another store for a lesser price. A business usually advertises this offer to help the consumer feel confident that they are not paying too much.

A service guarantee might require oil changes every three months.
A service guarantee might require oil changes every three months.

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Discussion Comments


I have had a lot of service guarantees over the years. Sometimes they have paid for themselves and other times I have never used them. I look at them like an insurance policy. If you need to use it, you are glad you have it.

A service guarantee that I will always have is a car warranty. The cost of car repairs is so expensive and even taking it in to get a diagnosis can put you back.

I used to worry about how I would pay for expensive repairs if my car broke down. The warranty that I purchased with the car I have now paid for itself in the first few months.

As long as I keep up with standard maintenance, I have never had any problems with using my warranty. The guarantee I have also provides me with a rental car while my car is being repaired, so I don't have to worry about how I am going to get back and forth to work.


Whenever I buy a new computer, I always purchase the service guarantee. Most of them come with a one year warranty, but since I keep my computer for longer than a year, I like to know that I am covered if anything goes wrong.

Most of the time, I have used my service guarantee at least once during the years it is valid. A couple of times they have come to my house and made the repairs and I didn't even have to take my computer in.

The peace of mind that comes with the guarantee is worth the extra price for me. The worst part about using it is the time while it is being repaired and you don't have a computer.


Some of my favorite businesses to deal with offer really good service guarantees. I usually have to take my clothing into a shop for tailoring and they guarantee that it will fit me perfectly or it is free of charge.

Another great example is my local pizza place which actually matches any coupon that you bring into them and gives you an additional 10% discount. Their service guarantee is you get the best pizza for the best price, and with a coupon policy like theirs it really is impossible to find a better deal. I suppose because they are so small and have so many regulars that anyone trying to cheat the system doesn't even make it through the door.


I never buy anything expensive without a service guarantee because you never know what will go wrong, even with new products. Generally I look for service guarantees that offers free regular maintenance for the first year and of course, full replacement if if something goes wrong in those initial few months.

For my computer I had a service guarantee that was voided if I made any modifications to my system. So you really have to be careful and make sure that you don't do something that will make all your precautions worthless. Another good example of this is with cellphones. If you jailbreak then you can forget about your service guarantee.

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