Manufacturers’ guarantees or Extended Warranties!
What a joke.
Guarantees are supposed to protect the consumer and add confidence in their product right! In the real world, they will cost you money and cause you grief.
Let’s get the definition in here so we all know what we are talking about:
plural noun: guarantees
a formal assurance (typically in writing) that certain conditions will be fulfilled, especially that a product will be repaired or replaced if not of a specified quality.
“we offer a 10-year guarantee against …….”
“all repairs have a one-year guarantee”
Now let’s paint the picture. You install a tap and it is working perfectly well and you have a happy customer. You go home feeling all warm and fuzzy.
The next week you get a call from an irate customer “this tap is leaking, you haven’t installed it right!”. You do your best to calm the customer down and assure them you will be back that afternoon and will put right whatever the issue is. Racking your brains to think of what the issue could be you arrive back at the clients home and find that the tap is faulty and nothing to do with your install.
Dealing with Customer
You explain to the customer that the part is faulty. You isolate the taps and remove them and arrange for a new tap with your merchant and schedule to be back the following day as per the the extended warranty rule. So, at this point you have pissed off the customer you were meant to be with that afternoon and they have gone elsewhere to another plumber for plumbing works because they had no heating or hot water. It’s been a tough day! One customer lost and there is no way you feel you can charge the customer for your time because of the leaking tap. It’s not their fault but it’s not yours either.
On your way home, you then reschedule the work you had for the morning so you can get the tap in and keep the customer on side. Surprise surprise, the 2nd customer you are trying to reschedule flairs up and says “I’ve specifically taken time of work to be there for you” “This is a joke… you are just like all the other plumbers”. Biting your lip, you apologize profusely and yup, you guessed it, you lose another potential customer.
Getting back to Client
You head back to the client with the leaking tap, fit the new one and try to mend bridges even though they understand it wasn’t your fault they are angry as its ruined part of their new flooring.
So in summary… you lose 2 customers (You have no idea the lifetime potential value of this). You can’t bill the customer for the time for you two additional visits or the logistics for returning and picking up the new parts.
Manufacturers need to step up. If your product is faulty YOU should pay for the engineer’s time that is using your product! We are the one championing your product. Without us on the ground you wouldn’t even have a business!
I don’t deny that sometimes it has broken due to being poorly installed. So people don’t hide behind “This is a manufacturers fault” if it isn’t. As professionals in an industry that is besmirched by cowboys WE MUST raise the bar and live up to an even higher moral standard. Be honest to your customers. We are all human and yes, even ‘everyday heroes’ make mistakes. It’s our mission to change people’s perceptions of plumbers and that sometimes means taking it on the chin BUT putting it right whatever the cost.
My parting shot and in summary:
Manufacturers step up and support your extended warranties by paying plumbers or risk your guarantee standing for:
The potential definition of Guarantee
A veiled attempt (typically tarted up with flashy marketing) to get your money by promising the world. The customer service should you need us won’t care about your concerns and will do anything and everything to prove that it isn’t their part at fault.
Synonyms: deceitful, time wasting, irritating, infuriating, exasperating, vexing
“All repairs will be shouldered by the hard working plumbers that you will be able to shout at directly and we will hide behind our ‘customer service team’… aka – ‘we don’t care team’”