29th Sep 2014

Warranty repairs can put business owners in a tail spin. It seems to drive most crazy because they are often left feeling unsure about what’s included under  warranty and how long the warranty period lasts.

The truth of the matter is that all it takes is a little work and proactivity on your behalf. Setting yourself up for success from the very beginning will save you tons of headaches – and possibly some money – in the long run.

Let’s first begin by defining what is a warranty. Warranty is a written guarantee provided by the manufacturing company to the consumer to repair or replace faulty  equipment.

Generally speaking unlimited warranties tend to include parts, labor, and often times travel time. Limited warranties cover substantially less and sometimes only the parts. All the labor, shipping, and travel time is the responsibility of the customer.

However, it’s important that you are clear about exactly what’s covered in your warranty. Some manufacturers only provide warranty repairs during standard hours, Monday to Friday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM and the customer is responsible for the remaining cost.

Knowing upfront what is and what is not covered with your warranty will allow you to plan accordingly for any future issues you may have with your foodservice equipment.

Some things you should know about your warranty:

  • Go through with the dealer, or refer to the written warranty  forms that came with the foodservice equipment, on what exactly is and isn’t included in the warranty.
  • Make sure your equipment is installed by a Factory Authorized Service Company. Improper installation immediately voids a warranty. From our experience, improper installation is the number one reason why a warranty claim is rejected.
  • Go through your equipment manual thoroughly and ensure that all those using the equipment are using it properly. Breakdowns  that the manufacturer considers ‘ due to negligence’ on the part of the user will not be covered.
  • In most cases, the lack of a proper Preventive Maintenance program is also considered negligence and will void a warranty. In our experience “negligence” is the number two reason why a warranty claim is rejected.
  • If you’ve purchased used equipment, ask the manufacturer about the warranty details. Most warranties are not transferrable.

Jot down (and keep handy) the equipments purchase date, serial number, your service companies’ number, and dealers number (if applicable).

What to do prior to calling in for a warranty repair:

  • Do your due diligence on whether or not your foodservice equipment is still under warranty. Hopefully you have the information well documented and easily accessible.
  • Be clear of the issue(s) with the equipment and communicate with the service company what you believe it to be included in the repair work and what may not be (should multiple issues exist).
  • Do a final check of the equipment to make sure that the unit is plugged in and the proper specs (for example, electrical connections) were used when setting up the equipment.

Taking a proactive approach

One of the best things you can do to make sure that your equipment is properly maintained and cared for, is to immediately register it under a Preventive Maintenance program.

A PM program will have multiple benefits:

  • Proper maintenance keeps the warranty in effect for the duration of the warranty period. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the equipment is new and doesn’t need maintenance. Too many warranties have been voided due to lack of care.
  • The service company can help you to keep track of warranties.
  • The service company will ensure that equipment is properly cared for as per the manufacturers’ specs.

Warranty repair doesn’t not have to be a mystery. With a little work on your part and cooperation from those who care about your investment, you can rest freely that all is being taken care of; so in the event of an emergency, you are prepared for the worst while expecting the best.

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