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Japanese Appliance Makers Extending Product Warranties
Jan 28, 2005
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Longer warranties of more than 2 years compared with the usual 1-year term are being offered by an increasing number of Japanese electrical appliance makers that are seeking to differentiate themselves by showing confidence in their products' durability.

Dealers have also started extending their warranties.

Sony Corp.'s Qualia series -- a brand of nine products including digital cameras and televisions -- offers purchasers warranties of from 3 to 5 years. Sony also provides after-sales services aimed at maximizing the length of use of its products.

Three years ago, NEC-Mitsubishi Electric Visual Systems Corp. introduced a 3-year warranty for its personal computer displays. Now, in addition to the displays, almost all its products have 3-year warranties. NEC-Mitsubishi's customers can have their purchases repaired at home for free within a year of buying them.

Certain dealers also provide lengthy warranties through a purchase point system, in which customers accumulate points from purchases that they can redeem when buying other products at the same firm.

Since 2002, leading retailer Biccamera Co. has allowed customers to use their purchase points to extend the warranty of their purchases. Under the system, customers who buy a product worth more than 21,000 yen (approx. U.S. $204) can use 5 percent of their purchase points for the product in exchange for either a 3- or 5-year warranty. (The Yomiuri Shimbun)

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