Thursday, July 26, 2012

On site service warranties - Make sure your investment is adequately protected!

-Deacon Wardlow

Underwriting has been around in one form or another for centuries. Lloyd’s of London is perhaps one of the most famous underwriters (with policies insuring trade goods dating back to the 17th century). Having an underwritten insurance has been a standard “must” on trade, isn’t it time the same rules applied to underwritten warranties for on-site service?

A common complaint in the Digital Signage industry (specifically relating to Programmable LED Signs) is the concern on dealing with manufacturers and vendors who are around one day and gone the next (usually around the time when warranty-related issues start cropping up). With so many fly-by-night resellers and manufacturers coming-and-going, there’s a standing distrust of manufacturers and the companies selling the systems. Even companies who’ve been around for more than a decade have fallen to the pains of an ever tightening economic downturn. These pains are, unfortunately, no stranger to the sign industry.

How can a company ensure parts and warranty are covered through the lifetime of a Programmable LED Sign? Where should dealers and end-users turn when they need help with their system? A third-party underwritten service warranty is the answer. No company can say with 100% assurance they’ll be running strong 5 years from now. Businesses change hands, financial issues occur, some companies close their doors and others are merged with larger corporations. A 3rd party underwritten warranty protects both dealers and end-users against future issues.

While many reliable (and several not-so reliable) manufacturers offer a five year parts warranty, few follow-through with a standard option for an underwritten on-site service warranty. Often when they offer the service warranty, it’s through a division of the manufacturer’s own business. The problem with this is the contract resides with the manufacturer and if something happens to that manufacturer, the warranty is meaningless.

Having a third-party company come into the mix allows for everyone to be covered. Should something occur to the manufacturer which made the display or the sign business which sold the LED system, the third party company will be around to ensure the parts and service warranty is covered. Should something happen to the third party underwriter, there are several other qualified companies who will pick up the contract and continue coverage.

When you’re looking at your source for Programmable LED Signage, do they work to ensure you’re covered in every possible way? Check their standard policy with on-site warranties and make sure they have this offered through a third party. A reliable Programmable LED Sign manufacturer should be looking after the interests of your investment for its lifespan and working to ensure you’re covered should even the worst situation occur. This is the difference between being just another vendor and an active partner for your success. Make sure there’ll be someone answering that phone several years down the line should there be a problem. Make sure your choice of manufacturer offers the option for a 3rd party underwritten on-site service warranty. The underwritten policy is your life jacket when treading the uncertain waters of business.

*Please comment here and/or email me directly with requests at Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (, check out the site periodically as we’re constantly adding new material.

**Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically stated.

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