The Warranty, a sign of a good business

By Jeff Bowman

With every product comes some form of a warranty, whether it is expressed or implied, limited or unlimited. However the mere existence of a warranty means nothing if the company who made, sold or traded the product does not back it up.

I used to attend auctions many years ago and the auctioneer always began the auction with “all products sold here tonight are, as is, where is, no warranties, guarantees, written or implied” I knew that what I bought was totally my responsibility, and “to the buyer beware” (Caveat emptor)

The legal ramifications and laws of accountability are usually pretty straight forward, and that is why every product you buy comes with a written warranty, and you can probably recite most of the conditions off by heart, product covered for parts and labour and manufacturing defects for a period of 90 days etc.  These conditions are usually followed up with the manufacturers CYA conditions, which often tend to make the warranty difficult to apply when you need to :

” the following are not covered under warranty: – accidental damage, neglect, misuse, maintenance, damage caused by exposure to an improper environment, including, without limitation, excessive temperature or humidity, unusual physical or electrical stress, failure or fluctuation of electrical power, lightning, static electricity or fire, damage caused by service or modification or alteration of hardware by anyone other than us”

Blah blah blah.

It is like the old George Carlin narrative about the used car warranty, “once you drive it off the lot, if it breaks in half you get to keep both halves!”

Good companies stand behind their warranty, with few questions asked – a satisfied customer is their primary objective. That is how brand loyalty is built.

This past weekend my barbeque began to spew flames out the sides of the burner element.  I had replaced the original element 4 years ago with a universal element from Canadian Tire, it had a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.  I had saved the warranty sheet with the receipt stapled to it all these years in my file box. To get a new burner I had to have the original receipt, check, the original warranty, check and  return it to a local distributor, a phone number was listed to call.  I called, and the line was disconnected.  So I took a quick trip to the distributor, about 2 miles away.  Not there anymore.

Well, I thought I would try my luck at Canadian Tire.  I explained my dilemma, and the manager called the listed number, hung up and approached me and said. “Well it looks like we’ve got a problem.  It’s our problem since we sold you the burner, go get another and we’ll just replace it. We have to stand behind our products.”

There was a thud as my jaw hit the counter. That was it. As simple as that.  That is a company that respects their supplier customer relationships. No hassle, no questions, big smiles all around. I know for sure that I can trust the implied warranty from this store.

How do you fare when it comes to warranties on your products or service, and do you display testimonials from your satisfied customers as part of your marketing mix? There is a lifetime warranty on a valued customer.

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Filed under Branding, Customer Service, Jeff Bowman, Manufacturing, Marketing, Sales

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