aeron chair warranty??

So..

One of the parts on my beloved Aeron chair broke:

grr.. lumbar pad from my aeron chair is borked.

I looked on their site to see if their products have a warranty, and.. they do! Woo! It says right on their site:

“The Herman Miller Warranty is a statement of our confidence in the quality of our products. It’s a straightforward promise to our customers that we stand behind that quality, 100 percent–100 percent of the time.”

Awesome.

Well, apparently “100 percent–100 percent of the time” actually means… “100 percent– some of the time” since when I contacted their authorized repair center, they emailed me back:

“The 12-warranty only covers the original owner, once resold the warranty would be denied by Herman Miller.”

Uh.. What? That’s kinda f’d up, no? I mean, yes, I’m the 2nd owner of this chair, but why should that make any difference as to the warranty?? The chair is still a G-E-N-U-I-N-E Herman Miller Aeron Chair as far as I can tell. I mean, yes, I could just buy the part.. but, this is about the principle of the thing at this point.. grr.

So, I wrote them a nice letter of my own…

Hello,
I am a happy owner of an Aeron chair. Recently, the lumbar pad on my chair has fallen apart, as you can see from this photo:

grr.. lumbar pad from my aeron chair is borked.

Anyway, I contacted Chair MD, and they informed me that your 12-year warranty does not cover me since I am the 2nd owner of this chair.

The label on my chair says:

Model # AE123AWB AJG1BBWP 3D01
Born-on date: 1999-05-18
Factory Order #: 493715

So, clearly, this chair is well within the 12-year warranty period, so I am writing to ask why it is that the warranty does not cover this chair. Is the warrantly less valid since I am not the original owner?

Isn’t it still the same chair?

I mean, if you buy a used car from somebody, the warranty goes with that car (and that makes sense).

Anyway, it’s really not the money ($65 for a new pad isn’t bad, I guess), but I really would just like an explanation, since the reasoning befuddles me.

Thanks!

Sincerely,
Dennis Yang

So we’ll see what they say…

Update:

Well.. I got a reply from Herman Miller…

Hello Dennis and thank you for contacting Herman Miller. We do have a 12-year warranty on the Aeron chair, but the warranty only extends to the original purchaser of the product when it is ordered through an authorized Dealership. The warranty does not transfer. I have included the verbage from our warranty below:

herman miller warranty

Regards,

Brandon McElfish/Herman Miller

Way to NOT ANSWER ANY OF MY QUESTIONS in my original email. I am fairly good at the google, and I was able to find that warranty information myself (as I explained in my email).

FAIL.

Honestly, I just want someone from HM to email me and say something like “Yes, we know our warranty policy is ridiculous, and we only stand by our products if you buy them from authorized retailers because we do not care about the re-sale people.” I mean.. yah. Come on.

If I am being ridiculous here, someone please tell me.

Update 2:

Ooo…

So, I wrote Herman Miller:

Hello,

Thanks for your reply!

As I stated in my original email — yes, I am familiar with your
warranty policy, so you did not answer my question.

I am simply inquiring as to *why* your warranty policy is this way?
Warranties for other durable goods like automobiles stay with the
product itself.

I am still sitting on a quality-made Herman Miller Aeron chair, no?

Thanks!

dennis.

And then they wrote back (super quickly, I might add…):

Hi Dennis, our original owner policy has been in place from the beginnings of Herman Miller as a company. I think you would find that there are very few products on the market where a warranty
coverage is passed on to the second owner of the product. That includes several automobile manufacturers.
Best regards,
Bob McAndrews
Herman Miller Inc.

Hmm.. that sounds like a classic “cuz that’s the way it is” answer.

Seriously? Wow.

I mean, I kind of expected more from Herman Miller, but… oh well. I mean, it’s not really the money, I can find a new lumbar support (a $65 part) on eBay for pretty cheap, but like, why have a warranty at all if you’re not going to honor it?

19 thoughts on “aeron chair warranty??”

  1. Yes, you are being unreasonable. It seems that Herman Miller is being more than fair answering all of your questions. Part of the price of buying something new is the warranty. When you buy second hand, the reason it is cheaper is because the warranty no longer applies. It is very rare to have transferable warranties in any consumer product. Stop being a whiny douche.

    1. Hi Bob, I like your reply but I have one question…are you the same Bob as 🙂

      “Best regards,
      Bob McAndrews
      Herman Miller Inc.”

      I completely disagree with you. They answered but the last email seemed very unprofessional. In fact if one of my employees responded like that I would expect a complaint against that employee to be filed. It was very condescending. Yes the OP was also out of bounds but the OP is still the customer.

    2. You probably work at HM, what you’re saying is ridiculous. Well my friend you are wrong. Apple is electronic lots can go bad, warranty valid after transfer, Tesla and BMW warranty is transferable, everything in this world is transferable. IF you stand up for the quality, the owner does not matter. “This is the policy of company since beginning” crap does not work any more in 2015 where consumers can chose anything out there. Me personally will NEVER buy HM because of this

  2. You’re not being a whiny douche. Sure, plenty of warranties are non-transferable, but that’s a business decision that helps the company, not the consumer. The thought is, the warranty has been prepaid for 12 years. Why should the current holder of the item, car, chair or otherwise matter?

    From HM’s perspective though, even if they did “good will” you one here, it’s a tough precedent to set since you’ve published this.

    And lastly, it shows an advantage of buying a new chair. This is HM trying to help their network of dealers to move more units. It’s a subtle item, but none the less has and will make a difference to some. Maybe you should take the opportunity to upgrade to a posturefit back! =)

  3. Yah.. after digging a little more into this issue, I’m finding that yes, it seems that many more warranties only apply to the “original purchaser.” I guess I expected more from companies.

    Oh well.

  4. I’m currently typing this from a Coleman camping/lawn chair because my own Aeron chair broke. For me, it was the tilt unit on the chair itself; the chair will no longer stay upright, rendering it completely worthless. I actually found this page because I was looking for instructions on repairing the chair, because in my case, a replacement part would be $350+.

    As far as I’m concerned any company that makes a product, sets a warranty, and refuses to honor the warranty just because that product has changed hands has no integrity. If the product had been modified or otherwise potentially compromised, I can understand that. A user risks voiding their warranty by making modifications to the product, but having a warranty only apply to the original purchaser is a total cop-out. Just another anti-consumer policy enacted by companies that don’t give a damn about their customers.

    Consider me another dissatisfied Herman Miller customer.

  5. I can tell you that one other product where the LIFE TIME WARRANTY applys on the item for LIFE is Leatherman multitools. 2x now I’ve had a multi tool break in a very small component and sent to the australia repair center. 1st time they fixed my existing tool and shipped back within days no questions asked. 2nd time a couple years later, and only recently, I shipped it back with the same problem. This time no questions asked they actually shipped me a brand new replacement tool (which is a different model). I was most happy with this experience. What a great company.

  6. ^^^^

    I forgot to mention, with my Leatherman story above, that tool was given to me as a gift from my Dad, he received that tool on a job site through work. Essentially leatherman doesn’t care who owns the tool, whether you bought it, were given it , found it or stole it!, they will fix the tool without care how/where it came from.

  7. Sears craftsman warranty…unlimited lifetime warranty. No receipt and has been honoring it since 1927. Granted these are tools and not a chair but it is an example of a company who has stood by their customers for years. Find your grandfathers old rusted craftsman tools and you can walk into a sears and exchange them on the spot.

  8. Basically Herman Miller doesn’t really stand by their product. Simple as that. The warranty is only meant to entice the original buyer into buying one of their overpriced chairs. They count on you getting sick of it eventually and passing it off to someone else to void the warranty. Good money making strategy.

  9. If the warranty were fully transferrable, then it likely wouldn’t last as long or they’d have to charge more. Part of buying a new chair directly from the manufacturer is the idea that it will be maintained. For example, on the third year, Herman Miller sent me notice of a possibly deficient part. A delivery service picked up the chair and repaired it. Seven years later, a cylinder failed, and they shipped me a prepaid box. The chair was repaired and returned. Good maintenance extends the life of the chair.
    My Aeron chair was expensive, but I’ve never regretted the purchase. After 17 years, my lumbar support finally cracked. I’ll buy a new one. Go the used route if you must, but purchasing direct from a dealer will give you at least a dozen years of flawless service.

  10. You are 100% justified to expect a better service for a chair that costs as much as HM. Their reply is a complete nonsense. “Original owner” is just a lame excuse. What is the difference as long as the chair does not show an abuse? And what is with all the negative comments? Did you negative guys pay the full price, realized that you were ripped off and now trying to make yourself feel better?

    BTW, this blog is on the first page of Google search for “Herman Miller warranty”. Talking about being penny wise.

  11. No need for the negative comments – or to buy a new chair.

    £1170 New Chair with 12-year Warranty
    + 0
    Total costs over 12 years = £1170

    £500 Second hand chair with no warranty
    + 90 Seat Back
    + 72 Gas lift
    + 96 Seat
    + 18 Castor
    + 50 Lumbar support
    Total cost over 12 years = £826 (saving 344 on new price)
    And that is if all those items break or need replacing.

    Buy second hand – simples 😉

  12. I bought one of these chairs new and they are refusing to service mine as well.
    They never flat out rejected me, but they simply stop responding. This has happened 3-4 times already.

    Once I was able to get them to provide me contact information for a local 1-man-show repair location who asked me to provide pictures and promptly never responded to me again via email.

    I contacted HM several times after this explains the situation and providing purchase info + chair info and they will not respond to me.

    Completely unacceptable considering I paid a little over 1k for this chair new largely because it included a 12-year warranty.
    I’d wanted an Eames lounge chair as well but no way will I pay 6k or 7k if this is the type of service I can expect.

    All this because my chair came with a loose right arm new and I wanted them to tighten it or replace it.

    Ridiculous…. DO NOT BUY HERMAN MILLER

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