Gaurantee your warranty !23 Jun 2016
One of the biggest and most important investments a company will make during its lifetime is buying Office Furniture. Those that value the talent in their organization and are geared for the long run will spend more than most.
Unlike mutual fund advertisements that provide that statutory "read the offer document carefully before investing" message, there’s no explicit warning that forces you to read warranty conditions ( although you should definitely look forward to several tough meetings with your CFO !).
Clients treat furniture warranties like they treat software downloads - They simply agree to what they see without going through the specifics. The majority of the decision makers only look out for those l conditions of the warranties and never really understand what they cover.
If you’re one of them, then you’ve got plenty of company. Worry not, though, we’ve got you covered. But before you make a warranty claim to your dealer, carefully inspect and figure out if it’s a manufacturing defect and or a defect in usage. Manufacturers do their best to protect customers, but not everything can be warrantied against. It’s also critical that the product is being used and maintained the right way. Read on to get an idea of what your warranty covers ( and don’t skip to the end ! )
What’s Covered - Manufacturing & Design Defects
Manufacturers and reputed brands will stand by their quality and offer anything from a 3 year to a lifetime warranty on their products. Should a product fail due a manufacturing defect or flaw in design and workmanship, the specific part will be replaced at no cost to you.
‘Manufacturing Defect ’ ?
Let’s say you’ve bought a desk - You notice the lipping on the side seems to be separating from the chipboard and is not stuck properly. This is clear indication that the edge-banding process hasn’t been done right. In this case, you can have your top replaced. In a similar fashion, let’s consider a task chair - there are times the seat pad doesn’t sit on the frame correctly. A new seat pad or in some cases the entire chair will be sent.
What isn’t covered
High Wear Parts
Moving and high wear parts are generally not covered within the full term of the warranty period. High Wear parts include castors, glides, user-adjustable worktop mechanisms, fixed and adjustable arms etc.
Gas cylinders for height adjustment are usually only warrantied for 6 months from the date of purchase. Although in most cases, a gas cylinder will fail within two weeks to a month if it is faulty. It is also useful to check with the manufacturer as most have started provided at least one-year warranties even for these parts.
Damage from Usage and Abuse
Manufacturers will honor the warranty claim provided it isn’t a result of abuse or normal wear and tear. Dropping hard objects that end up denting the surfaces will result in your warranty claim being rejected on the grounds of product abuse.
Examples of this are,
- Using indoor furniture in an outdoor setting - using Visitor and Lounge seating as Task Seating. Task Chairs are designed for constant use over single 8-hour shifts and can are able to take that constant use.
- Fabric Tear or Color Loss - Again, fabrics must be maintained properly. Tears in the fabric due to sharp objects, loss in color due to use of chemicals are not covered.
- Another often overlooked feature in the specification is the type of user. Task chairs are designed to take a standard load of 90 to 110 Kgs. It is up to to the designer or project engineer to specifically specify stronger gas lifts, castors and swivels to accommodate larger users.
Special sizes or fabrics that do not fall within the standard range will not be covered within the standard warranty period. Mainly due to the fact that the manufacturer has not tested these specs and hence cannot guarantee its resilience.
What makes your Warranty Void ?
As you’ve probably guessed by now, warranties are subject to a set of conditions. In some cases, the warranty period for the entire product is voided. There are a few specific reasons for this
Hiring Uncertified Office Furniture Installers - I can assure you that commercial furniture does not fall under the DIY category. There are specific tools and set of skills required to install. No company will accept a claim if the installation was not carried out by a certified installation team.
Improper Maintenance & Storage - Using the wrong set of cleaning materials to clean the upholstery can lead to disastrous results. Always refer to the manufacturer's usage and care guide if you find yourself in doubt. Storing or placing indoor furniture in hot and humid environments will cause structural damages in case-goods products.
Modifying your furniture - Never try and modify furniture without consulting an expert. It can be anything from cutting down panels to size , or reconfiguring workstations to a different setting.
As with any major decision, take time out to analyze the details. Make sure the specification is solid and go through the warranties with a fine comb. It’s also worth noting that top manufacturers offer varying levels of protection ; ranging from Lifetime, 12 year to 5 year warranties. Each grade of warranty covers a different scope of components and products. z