A guarantee can be a pretty powerful marketing tool.
But when is a guarantee a ‘real’ guarantee.
I just saw this headline on News.com.au – “QCAT finds Flight Centre’s ‘lowest airfare guarantee’ not legally enforceable as matter of law”
The article talks about Australia’s largest travel agent (Flight Centre) not honouring a prospective customer’s request for a free flight because they couldn’t match the fare he was quoted elsewhere.
It turns out the customer got a quote elsewhere and then went into a Flight Centre store later and asked them to beat the quote.
Because the seats on that flight were no longer available, they couldn’t beat the quote obviously. So it wasn’t like they had a chance, the original company quoting couldn’t honour their quote either.
The guy complained bitterly and eventually took his dispute to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, whose judgement included:
“The ‘lowest airfare guarantee’ does not, on itself, create a cause of action legally enforceable by a customer if Flight Centre does not honour the guarantee even if the conditions are met.”
A Guarantee Isn’t About Legalities
Having a guarantee isn’t about what you have to legally do. It’s about what you do.
It’s about building trust with your market.
If Flight Centre don’t honour their guarantee, then their customers will soon vote with their wallets and take their business elsewhere.
Being legally required to do something shouldn’t matter one little bit. If you say you’re going to do something, then you must or your brand will be destroyed very quickly.
(I’m completely with Flight Centre on this one – their guarantee is based on having the opportunity to quote the exact same thing, no something that no longer exists.)