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Request EXPERT Review of my AWA

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Request EXPERT Review of my AWA [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2014, 15:32
ESSAY QUESTION:
The following appeared in a memo to executives at a company that manufactures industrial equipment:

"We are spending too much on free customer service after a sale has been made; we need to limit our warranty to two years in order to improve our profit margins. The current lifetime warranty can lead to costs decades into a product's life cycle. Also, we pay our customer service employees a premium because they must possess expert skills across the entirety of our very diverse product line, including products we no longer sell."

Discuss how well reasoned you find this argument. Point out flaws in the argument's logic and analyze the argument's underlying assumptions. In addition, evaluate how supporting evidence is used and what evidence might counter the argument's conclusion. You may also discuss what additional evidence could be used to strengthen the argument or what changes would make the argument more logically sound.

YOUR RESPONSE:
In this argument the author concludes that in order to improve profit margins at the company warranties need to be limited to two years. This argument is flawed in two critical ways. Not only does the author assume that sales revenues will remain the same if only a two warranty is offered but the author also assumes that the customer service employees with the expert knowledge will either no longer need to be paid a premium or will not need to be employed by the company.

Firstly, the author makes the projection that only offering a two year warranty will improve the profit margins at the company without offering sufficient proof. For the profit margins to be improved there must be changes in the revenues, in the costs or in both the revenues and the costs. The author argues that this plan will work on the grounds that it will reduce the product's life cycle costs to the company. The author fails to prove that this plan will not lead to decreased revenues as a result of customers unwillingness to purchase the product without a lifetime warranty offered.

Additionally, the author assumes that limiting the warranty to two years will improve profit margins at the company by lowering the costs associated with customer service employees. This assumption is flawed in several ways. The evidence that states that these employees are paid a premium on the basis that they have knowledge of products that are no longer sold holds no basis. The products that are no longer sold will continue to require lifetime support if they included a lifetime warranty when they were sold. Also, the author assumes that these employees with the expert knowledge will no longer be needed or that they will not be required to be paid the premium that they are now paid. There is no proof provided that this is the case.

In order to fix the critical flaws in this argument the author needs to provide additional evidence. If there were some data to indicate that the lifetime warranty were not the primary reason that consumers purchased the company's products then the first argument would be more likely to hold true. To fix the second major flaw the author needs to provide some evidence that the products that the company no longer sells do not have lifetime warranties and will not require the expert skills of the highly paid customer service employees.

In conclusion I would not agree with the author's argument for improving profit margins at the company by limiting warranties to two years without additional evidence that addresses the two major flaws in the detailed above.
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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Re: Request EXPERT Review of my AWA [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2014, 11:28
Expert's post
I'd be happy to help! :)

Overall: 4

You are a clear, direct writer, which is great benefit for AWA. That's what they like to see. Also, you organized your essay so that it is logical and easy to follow. Finally, you tackle the prompt directly and do a nice job responding to the prompt.

To improve, you need to add more detail to your body paragraphs when you explain a flaw. For example you say:

"...For the profit margins to be improved there must be changes in the revenues, in the costs or in both the revenues and the costs. The author argues that this plan will work on the grounds that it will reduce the product's life cycle costs to the company."

So you tell the reader that revenues and costs must change. Then you mention that the plan will reduce the products life cycle costs. So what is the connection between these two statements? Can you give a reason or detail about what types of things effect revenues and cost? Can you tell the reader why reducing the life cycle of a product will not effect revenues? Answering these questions and including them in your paragraph will add a range of depth and critical thinking to your essay that it lacks a little bit right now. Your examples and analysis are brief and slightly superficial. I know that you have a limited amount of time, but to raise your score, you'll need to add more detail.

I hope that this helps a little. :)
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Kevin Rocci
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Request EXPERT Review of my AWA   [#permalink] 22 Jan 2014, 11:28
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