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I have a pair of glasses from company X that spontaneously broke on 11/02/2020. Thinking in good faith that it was a fixable repair I made an appointment with my optometrist. Due to COVID-19 limitations and the fact that I live in a big city (Seattle), the earliest appointment was approximately 2 weeks later. They were unable to fix the glasses and suggested I try a store like Costco that sometimes has more extra parts laying around. I tried Costco which took another two weeks. Costco was also unsuccessful and suggested I purchase new glasses.

At this time I looked into the warranty offered by company X. Their website said the following:

TOM FORD EYEWEAR IS OFFERED WITH A 2-YEAR MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY FROM INVOICE DATE AGAINST ANY MANUFACTURER’S DEFECTS, DEFINED AS THE BREAKING OF SOLDER OR WELD POINTS, DISCOLORATION OF FINISHES NOT ASSOCIATED WITH NORMAL WEAR, LOOSENING OF EMBEDDED HINGES, ETC., AND ANY ANCILLARY PART OR DETAIL OF A FRAME THAT IS DEFECTIVE. ABUSED EYEWEAR WILL NOT BE WARRANTED UNDER ANY CONDITIONS. PLEASE CONTACT CUSTOMER SERVICE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

I had initially ordered the glasses online 11/05/2018. I reached out to customer service to begin the warranty process on 12/29/2020. So the actual malfunction of the glasses took place within my warranty period, but I did not contact customer service until after my warranty period. I did explain this in my initial contact to customer service, but they said I was no longer covered by the warranty.

Is there any literature or legislature that would determine if the product must become faulty within the warranty period, or if I need to contact customer service within the warranty period?

From what is stated on the companies website I believe it is ambiguous. Located in the US.

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    Are they supposed to take your word that it broke in the warranty period and you just didn't contact them until after? I assume this is in the United States? – Ron Beyer Jan 19 at 22:59
  • I could possibly get something in writing from the places where I tried to have it fixed? – Prince M Jan 20 at 0:05
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Is there any literature or legislature that would determine if the product must become faulty within the warranty period, or if I need to contact customer service within the warranty period?

No (meaning that the terms of the warranty are that literature). The terms of that clause decide the matter.

The only direction for enforcing the warranty is to "contact customer service". Unless your optometrist is manufacturer's associate for purposes of customer service, the warranty now is unenforceable. Your mention that your "initial contact to customer service" happened after the warranty had expired indicates that the optometrist is not an associate, but you might want to verify that point.

Other than that, it is unclear what ambiguity(-ies) you identify in that clause.

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  • The only ambiguity is in the definition of the '2 year warranty'. They clearly define the start of the two years as the invoice date, but don't specify that I need to contact them within two years. – Prince M Jan 20 at 18:51
  • Here is an example that explains why I asked if there is other literature that would help decide the matter: If a law does not specify criteria for culpability, it can be interpreted as strict liability or the MPC recommends that negligence be the required mens rea. – Prince M Jan 20 at 19:00
  • So one could say that the law is that literature that defines the law, but in grey areas there is sometimes other literature (like the MPC in my example above) that makes recommendations for how to interpret or decide grey areas. – Prince M Jan 20 at 19:03
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    @PrinceM He would be out of luck, in part because he cannot prove that the break happened prior to the 2-year deadline. Furthermore, the company can always argue "normally the warranty would be for 1.5 years, but we rounded it up to 2 years considering that glasses might break within epsilon of the 1.5 year period". – Iñaki Viggers Jan 20 at 19:59
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    @PrinceM "then I wouldn't have waisted my time doing them a favor and investigating if I could get the glasses repaired". And you shouldn't have. Instead, you should have contacted customer service (which they specifically indicate), and do so right away because the warranty was about to expire in three days. There is no ambiguity. – Iñaki Viggers Jan 20 at 20:15

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