British readers may recall a series of very catchy TV adverts from the 1980s promoting Scotch videotapes – which featured a dancing skeleton in a “home of the future” still using the same VHS tape he had when he was alive.

A very optimistic view that VHS tapes would be around forever – long shown to be false by the advent of DVD’s and now hard drive recorders and even internet streaming of video content. But who knew that at the time?

The core selling point for Scotch tapes was that they were so convinced of their quality, that they would offer the famous “lifetime guarantee” and would replace any tape which wears out free of charge.

Anyhow, I remembered the video a few months ago – and just last night remembered again, so sent a short email to 3M, the company which made the Scotch videotapes asking, in this era of DVD’s etc what would happen if someone actually did send in a tape for a free replacement.

To their credit – not only did I get a reply within just a few hours, which is a subtle dig to the (too many) companies who claim that emails take days to reply to, but they actually have a procedure already in place to deal with this situation.

While Scotch itself ceased to sell VHS tapes over 10 years ago – the company will still honour that ages-old guarantee and if you post an old tape to them, they will send you a free BASF tape as a replacement.

Now, that is what I call good customer care – not only a speedy reply, but in an age when the VHS tape is almost extinct, the company still holds true to a promise made over 20 years ago.

For nostalgia – here is a copy of one of those famous TV commercials thanks to the ubiquitous YouTube and TVArk.





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  1. frankie smales says:

    i can remember these as an child growing up in the 80’s
    and they allways scared me upto 2007 when i saw it on
    youtube and i realised it was fake and who was the studio
    that made them i thaught it was aardman studios who does
    wallace and gromit but i am not sure it was them or not
    but the re-record not fade away song in the advert was
    originaly a song called not fade away by the rolling stones
    in the 70’s but the advert was in the mid 80’s what great memories .

    frankie smales

    (retro tv advert fan)

  2. Richard says:

    I was in the TV/Video trade at the time, and we considered the use of Scotch tape to be ‘abuse’ of a VCR for warranty purposes and warned our customers when they bought the VCR.

    The *tape* lasted a long time, but it did so at the expense of the VCR heads, which it wore out at over three times the rate of any other brand leaving a distinctive wear pattern of fine scratches.

    If you could imagine what your car would look like if you cleaned it with T-Cut every day you’re getting somewhere close.

  3. roy d boy says:

    Will they still honour the guarantee on betamax tapes ?

  4. Andrew Cummins says:

    We just loved Scotch didn’t we. The adverts, the clarity, the audio, the total reliability of Scotch tape. Amazon were selling six factory sealed blank Scotch VHS tapes a few months ago and I bought all six. Couldn’t resist it you see, couldn’t resist Scotch. Now that I’ve got new things on Scotch, I know I’ve got them for life, re-record, not fade away……

  5. Andrew Cummins says:

    Scotch VHS and Betamax tapes are still being sold from online retailers. Now of course, I’me not sure how well they sell today, but the ones I’ve bought over the last 3 years are all superb quality for general purpose recording. Bear in mind, these are all old stock now, these tapes would have been manufactured many years ago, and there are zero signs of any degradation. They’re sold as new, even though they’re old stock, but they’re still unused and factory sealed which makes them as good as new. Scotch is still kicking ass today.

  6. Sarah says:

    I’ve still got more than 10 Scotch video tapes from the early 80’s. All of them aroun 40 years old and never had a problem with any of them. Here was a company that truly believed in their tapes, when they offered their lifetime guarantee ”No matter how many times in your lifetime you record on this cassette, the quality will never deterioate”. And it never has either. Thank you Scotch.

3 Pings/Trackbacks for "Scotch’s Lifetime Guarantee – ReRecord, not fade away!"
  1. […] Scotch video tape lifetime guarantee is still in place, it seems that it is. Blogger Ian Mansfield contacted Scotch in 2008 to ask them what would happen if someone wanted to return a tape that had degraded in quality. He […]

  2. […] guarantee, and apparently Scotch are still being true to their word, as this post from 2008 on the IanVisits blog shows – except amusingly they no longer make videotapes so the replacement one is made by […]

  3. […] Remember the the old Scotch video tape adverts (UK only I imagine)? You got a lifetime guarantee, the real question is whose lifetime? Mine, the tapes, or the whole VHS system? Funnily enough it seems I wasn’t the only one who thought about this – as this blog will testify to: Ianvisits blog – scotch guaranteed! […]

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