As heat waves spread across the country, many men are looking for opportunities to go without socks. (To those men, I might suggest a good pair of no-show socks but, like with other grooming tips, that’s beyond the scope of this post.) The point is that, despite the heat, one Missouri man wants more socks, even though they appear to be thick and rather warm. In fact, he filed a $5 million class action against Bass Pro Shops for failing to give him more of those socks under the company’s lifetime guarantee.
Bass Pro sells a product called “RedHead® Lifetime Guarantee All-Purpose Socks.” As the name suggests, the company prominently advertises that the socks are subject to a lifetime guarantee and that “if they wear out, they get replaced.” In a YouTube video, a store manager elaborates on that, saying: “If anything ever happens — if the dryer steals one of them on you — you bring the other one in, and we give you a brand new pair of socks.”
Whether or not our man in Missouri had socks stolen by his dryer we may never know, but we do know that he took advantage of the lifetime guarantee a number of times since 2015, “typically 2-4 pair at a time.” Each time, Bass Pro replaced the socks with new socks that were subject to the same lifetime guarantee. That changed last year, though, when he attempted to exchange four pairs of socks. This time, he was given “distinctively-marked 60-Day Socks.”
(If you’re not sure what you’re wearing, glance down towards your calves. If you see a “distinctive stripe pattern” on your socks, that could be a warning that they’re just 60-Day Socks. Tread carefully.)
The lawsuit alleges that Bass Pro has engaged in false advertising and that it failed to honor its warranty. Although it’s too early to tell how this case will turn out, this lawsuit is worth contemplating for any company that is considering a lifetime warranty. A lifetime warranty may be a big selling point but, as the saying (sort of) goes: “With big selling points come big responsibilities.” Absent any clear disclosures, those responsibilities could last a lifetime.