Reliable products, guarantees boost consumer confidence in tough times

Reliable products, guarantees boost consumer confidence in tough times

(NewsUSA) - In these challenging economic times, consumers are focusing more on "needs" than "wants," particularly when it comes to their purchases. Rather than rushing to buy the flashiest new gadget or gizmo, many consumers are placing a premium on reliability, seeking products and services they can count on for quality and value.
Recognizing this need, savvy companies are working to provide their customers with extra assurance that their money is not wasted. A few have even gone so far as to offer their consumers money-back guarantees. After all, there's no better way to convey belief in a product and sensitivity to the current financial climate than to say, "If you're dissatisfied, we'll give you your money back."
Today's risk-averse consumers can feel secure in the knowledge that, if they dislike an item or service, they won't lose their money. These financially conscious consumers can look to the following industries for money-back guarantees:
* Mailing and Shipping. If there's one place where customers value reliability, it's in mailing and shipping; goods need to arrive on time and in good condition. For this reason, FedEx backs its FedEx Express and FedEx Ground shipments with a money-back guarantee in the United States and Canada. On Express packages, FedEx allows customers a refund or credit on all shipping charges if a package arrives even 60 seconds later than its stated delivery time.
* Telecommunications. Dropped calls and other technology annoyances are a big deal in today's world, which requires fast, reliable communication. No one wants to find themselves stuck in a two-year contract with an unreliable provider. Luckily for new Vonage customers, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
* Food and Wine. The trend has even found its way onto supermarket shelves and wine racks. Known for producing high-quality wines for every-day enjoyment, including the best-selling Merlot in America, Sonoma-based Blackstone Winery (www.blackstonewinery.com) offers wine drinkers its own money-back guarantee. Any consumer not 100 percent satisfied with their Blackstone wine purchase can use the winery's "Count On It" money-back guarantee for a full refund.