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I bought a pair of boots in the US. They were advertised as being waterproof, but after some [reasonable] use they ceased to be waterproof. I called the company, and their response was basically:

The boots should have been waterproof, they weren't. We're sorry, we'll give you a brand new pair.

They kept their word and replaced the boots. The new ones, so far, are waterproof and they have retained a happy customer with dry feet. But all this leads me to wonder. If it was a manufacturing defect in my original pair that caused them to fail then it's completely likely these new ones will remain waterproof for the remainder of the warranty period. When they eventually fail, I'd just buy a new pair.

But what if the boots failed because the design of the boots is not good enough to stay waterproof for the whole warranty period? If these new boots fail within the original warranty period should I expect another replacement? As a general rule, is a company who warranties their product responsible for making it right for the entire warranty period even if that means multiple replacements?

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    Until they refund your money :-) If the company isn't able to supply you with boots that are waterproof, that's bad for them. I knew a builder who always dropped his phones on the ground (concrete with bits of concrete rubbish usually, fatal for a phone). On a trade show he saw a phone offered with an "unbreakable screen". He bought one, smacked it on the table, screen broke. He asked "can I try another one?". He got his money back.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 16 at 18:03
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    In UK the statutory minimum consumer warranty period is 12 months from the date of purchase. If they are replaced free of charge, you don't restart the warranty period, which is still 12 months from the original date. But when I had a faulty disk drive replaced under warranty, the company did not replace the sticker on the casing that said "warranty void if damaged or removed" so effectively it was a one-off replacement. Jan 16 at 20:16

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It depends on what the warranty says. For example, here is a shoe warranty (actually, it's a manufacturer's statement about their warranty), then

If you believe your item is flawed, and it’s within 60 days of your purchase, you can simply return it to us for a full refund.

They also note that if you want an exchange, you have to talk to them. This avoids the infinite regress of warranty claims and exchanges. The term of the warranty is is time-limited: "within two years of the manufacture date". The simple return solution is limited to 60 days from data of purchase (that's what they say). They also say

If it’s been longer than 60 days, and less than two years since the manufacture date (located on the item’s tag), and the item has developed a flaw, here's what you need to do...

i.e. discovered more that 60 days from purchase, less that 2 years from manufacture.

You can straightforwardly get a refund within 60 days of purchase, as long as the goods haven't been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years. If you want an exchange, then we actually do not know, because all exchanges are on a "contact us" basis, and the exchange may come with a different warranty. Sure, you might be able to argue in court that advertising the shoes as "waterproof" when they are clearly not waterproof is deceptive advertising (against the law), but this is not an issue of warranty law. As far as warranty law is concerned, the terms of the warranty are whatever you see in the warranty. There is no requirement that a product be replaced under the same terms as the initial purchase.

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New boots, new warranty

When a product is replaced, any contractual or statutory warranties or guarantees run from the date of replacement.

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  • I once bought a TV recorder. The specs were such that I didn't believe it would let long, so I bought extended warranty. After 20 months it broke. I got a new one that cost the same (better because it was almost two years newer) AND another extended warranty. I thought this is great, I'll have new TV recorders for the rest of my life if they break often enough :-) The third one come without the new extended warranty unfortunately :-(
    – gnasher729
    Jan 17 at 10:41

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