True Fitness has now added its name to the treadmill companies that offer lifetime warranties.
As of Dec. 12, the Missouri-based company will offer total lifetime warranties on its top-end treadmills models 500, 540, and 550 for an extra $200. These models have suggested retails of about $2,600 to $5,400. The new warranty means guarantees on all parts, including roller, belts, deck, frames, and motor. The warranty does not include labor or service.
"We believe our treadmills are the Mercedes of the industry," Scott Eyler, True vice president of sales and marketing told SNEWS. "The lifetime warranty reaffirms this belief in our product and our company. However, we also believe in giving our customers a choice. Many customers enjoy having the latest technology and upgrade their fitness equipment like they would a car, every four to five years. Others look at equipment as a long-term purchase that they hold on to for many years. Rather than automatically passing the additional cost of a lifetime warranty to everyone, we will offer our customers a purchase option that will satisfy their individual needs."
Landice kicked off this latest trend in October (click here for our story). It is not charging extra for the lifetime warranty. Spirit Fitness, which is charging an additional $175, followed a week later. At that time, True stuck to its warranties, which depending on the model were lifetime on frame, then either 5 years parts and 1 or 2 years labor, or they were 5 years on motor, belt, deck and rollers, with 3 years on other parts and 1 year labor.
SNEWS View: At least these are the upscale models that will hopefully have some industrial strength parts. Still, we question the smarts of lifetime warranties for any company -- or, for that matter, any lifetime warranty on any piece of equipment like a treadmill where lots of things can go wrong or wear out. Nevertheless, with these being offered as a value-added option, we aren't sure how many customers will really go for the extra cost unless they are looking at the models that are at the higher end of the range. Certainly, it will mean that, one, sales people will need to spend more time explaining to a customer why he or she should bother spending the extra money if it's such a good product anyway and, two, even if a customer doesn't purchase a warranty, the offering could signify to them the company is confident in the product and it could help close a deal on a higher-cost treadmill.