When it comes to window and door warranties, most buyers...

April 9, 2008

The Talk, Page 2...

Survey Results for 04/09/2008:

When it comes to window and door warranties, most buyers...

...are interested in warranty information, but it is not a purchase driver.





...refuse to buy without a satisfactory warranty.





...don't really care about warranty language.





Christina Lewellen,
senior editor of Window & Door

Well, color me surprised. For all the fussin’ about warranties in this industry, they might not even be a purchase driver among customers. Last week, I referred to a blog about Best Buy and its practice of pushing extended warranties for electronics. The problem, this blogger points out, is that some of these upgrade warranties don’t really have a lot of meat on the bone. I’m pretty lukewarm about warranties in general, so I asked what you thought—do window and door buyers even care about the warranty language that accompanies their fenestration purchases?

Our readers seem a little lukewarm too. The biggest chunk of respondents, 58 percent, contends that buyers are interested in warranties but say warranties don’t really drive purchase decisions. Another 6 percent say buyers don’t care about warranties. This is interesting information for manufacturers and dealers who hang their hat of differentiation on offering a “better” warranty than the competition—this message may not be resonating with your customers.

Still, 36 percent of readers say warranties are important, as many customers may refuse to make a window and door investment without the insurance policy of sorts. One retailer argues that a good warranty allows the dealer to be more comfortable backing the product and often results in a perception among buyers of higher quality. “… [T]he point to keep in mind is that the better the warranty, the likelihood is that the manufacture is making a better product,” he writes.

An architect reader says he’s not a believer. He says he’s not overly impressed with the warranties available for most window and door products and wonders if some type of standardization process with minimum requirements for written warranties would offer better protection to buyers. “Buyer, specifier and owner beware—your warranties are worthless when something goes wrong,” he says, “which is exactly the way the manufacturer wants it.”

Email me if you’d like to contribute your thoughts to this conversation.

Email Christina Lewellen at clewellen@glass.org.


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