Who's fault is it when a warranty under-delivers?

Discussion in 'Quotes and Proposals' started by AMI Contracting, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I was recently contacted privately by a consumer who was disappointed to find that the Climatemaster warranty didn't cover 100% of a repair.

    Here are excerpts of the conversation.


    Called climate master they said SOL... the fine print on the warranty says they pay their scheduled rate. The installers are not their customers, I am not their customer the distributor is their only customer. It is between me and the installer on the payment for the warranty work! I asked HVAC distributors and thy confirmed that the industry has the worse warranty policies and its not just climate master but all of them and some are worse than others but none are good.... I got the names of 3 more installers, one private split off the other mom and pop shop, one medium regional shop and the other a large regional shop................
    Shame on the guy who made all the cash installing and selling the contract and didn't honor it.

    Also CM told me they start the clock on the warranty from the date they sold it to the distributor not the date placed into service or certificate of occupancy on the new home. Sounds like one for the courts to decide in future... its a 13 month difference on a 10 yr warranty! I will need to get a letter from the distributor showing the delivery date to the installer and then will adjust it on their end?

    Thank you for your advice and if you want to post this on the forum I have no problem just delete the contact info. It might be of help to someone in a similar situation.


    It occured to me we spent some time offering advice on vetting contractors, but may have left out one of the biggest points of all: know what the warranty really means. Know what the exclusions are and your resposibility.

    Here was my reply:

    For what it's worth, I find the energy star driven heat pump warranties to be superior to furnace warranties. For instance I do not know of a furnace that comes standard with a manufacturers 5 year labor warranty, but every heat pump must or it is not tax credit worthy.
    So whoever you asked that said geos are worse is mis informed. Furnace manufacturers do not pay prevailing wage either if someone purchases an extended warranty, they offer an allowance which is typically about 40% light. Most furnace repairs are simple (1 hour or less) so dealers tend to take the cut rate while many geo repairs are several man hours.

    So the goat here is not the manufacturer. Their terms were laid out in advance and CM warranties are amongst the best in the business (and again better than furnace warranties).
    The problem is expectation. Expectations are a product of the sales presentation........ergo the goat is the guy you bought it from.

    What to take away from this:

    Different products have different warranties. It is up to you to ask the selling contractor what the exclusions and co-pays are on yours. It is up to you to find out what your contractor will contribute if you need warranty repairs. I accept the allowance when my customers require warranty work.

    Manufacturers also do not know the date that their equipment was put into service so make sure product is registered.

    Add this to your list of inquiries when shopping and your expectations will likely be met by the product delivered.

  2. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    You and I do the same job, sometimes together.

    We both hope to do our jobs well enough to avoid warranty, but charge enough that we can stand by our contracts.

    Our customers are our lives as some of those projects we do last years.

    Well we need to register warranty's Even if one does, The press of a button cna erase any manufacturers liability. Like our three rigid lithium ion drill motor sets. No more Home desperate tools from them. I will keep my pipe stuff until I die and leave them to you. Do not worry all my stuff is grey not red.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  3. Hitch

    Hitch New Member

    I own a WaterFurnace Geo and have recently learned the extent to which WaterFurance's warranty is IMO woefully insufficient. In my experience, it simply does not even come close to covering the labor expenses associated with warranty repair caused by the failure of its product. Respectfully, I disagree that the goat is not the manufacturer. Someone needs to be a lot more forthcoming. It's WaterFurnace's "warranty" and it should take the lead. This should particularly be the case with what appears to be the all to common failure of its evaporator coils. I typed a fairly long response about my experience, but thought I should post it in a new thread.

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