They give you peace of mind – but is an extended one essential?
Possibly a very good idea but not essential. It depends on your own thoughts and the facts obtained from a little research before you order one.
Modern straight lifts depend on the batteries being charged up and a properly functioning circuit board. The chances of a fault with a basic lift are quite low – but these odds increase when you include powered options such as hinges, swivel seats and linked foot-plate- to-seat mechanisms. If all this sounds technical, don’t worry just give me or one of the Castle Comfort team a call when deciding whether to buy a warranty or not and we’ll advise accordingly.
Owners of curved lifts should remember that their aid is more of a complex machine and back up is pretty much a must to avoid the possibility of an expensive repair if things go pear-shaped.
All chairlift installations come with a minimum one year warranty. Or at least they should. Any lesser period indicates an older used product that the supplier may have obtained very cheaply or even for nothing. It may be in excellent condition and reliable in which case it should not perhaps be offered with only a three or six months cover – after all if the provider does not trust it, why should you?
What is the difference between a warranty and a guarantee?
Well, there is no definite and clear answer to that question other than maybe the word warranty rings of conditions and the only way to be sure is to read the small print.
In many areas of buying a product or a service in life, the smaller the print the more careful one has to be. A guarantee though also has it’s terms and conditions – so the simple advice is – read everything.
When deciding on a particular lift or company to deal with, make sure the contract, with which you must be left a copy, has the details of any warranty or guarantee. If it simply states ‘xyz’ warranty/guarantee ‘subject to conditions’then be wise and ask for those missing important facts.
A firm not detailing essential information on an order form or contract is certainly risking being able to enforce such a thing in the event of any dispute.
Purchasing your chairlift is usually a once in a lifetime investment. Most people expect the lift to outlive them! Certainly they are sturdily built and tested for the most part. As with any investment of this kind, especially one that users are so dependent on, you want it to function perfectly at all times.
To this end, and to give purchasers peace of mind, all models come with a manufacturer’s warranty. But this is secondary to the warranty provided by the actual supplier with whom you are giving your money to. A manufacturer may offer back up and – but the legal contractual deal is with whoever receives your order – and indeed the payment. This means, in many cases, that in the event of a problem, you have two ports of call (pretty useful if an emergency occurs out of hours) – the supplier and the manufacturer. Keep the telephone numbers of both of us handy – and especially if you live alone, ensure the information is kept at the top and the bottom of the stairs. You never know where you will be if your aid to up and down transport has ‘a hiccup.’
It is always reassuring if a warranty is issued as it shows the manufacturer has confidence in their product. After all, they’re not keen on swallowing additional costs unless it is absolutely necessary, so their confidence instills confidence in you.
What is a warranty?
Well it’s a legal document or transaction that assures you of certain specified facts about your stairlift. Most of us only think about warranties if a product, in this case the unit itself, malfunctions. The warranty will state the conditions that apply to make the warranty applicable. It usually outlines what the seller or manufacturer is prepared to do in the case of something going wrong.
The phrase ’24 hour cover’ or ‘service’ is claimed by many in the mobility industry. However, whilst a help-line may receive calls at 10 pm and give advice – it is not realistic to expect an engineer out late at night or in the early hours of the morning! Even the largest companies do not have a comprehensive type AA or RAC service.
In legal terms if something doesn’t perform as expected, then the warranty comes into play and the issuing company is obligated to address the problem. However it is very important that you read and understand the warranty completely, because misuse on your part could mean that the terms of the warranty no longer apply. To repeat remember that old adage – always read the small print – it really applies in the case of warranties.
Most manufacturers offer a standard 12 month minimum warranty on both new and reconditioned models. Some offer an initial two year warranty on new products. The warranty usually covers the cost of repairs and parts during this time period. Some warranties include an annual service.
After the initial 12 months, warranties can be renewed for different periods i.e. another 12 months or a further two years or sometimes more. This time you will pay for the extended warranty and of course you want to be sure that you are getting the best value for your money. To this end manufacturers often offer a range of extended warranties for all budgets. We can’t emphasise enough that you need to check exactly what is covered.
Of course you will also want peace of mind that your lift continues to work or is fixed as quickly as possible if something goes wrong. Again be sure to check out what the warranty covers, as this can vary and you often have several options. You need to be sure that you know what you are getting and what the restrictions or limitations are.
What do the warranties cover?
Most warranties, initial and extended, offer call out and repairs. Repairs can be for malfunction or for accidental damage. Of course that inimitable small print will list all the things that are covered. You might find that things like cigarette or cigar burns aren’t covered even if they are accidental. Not least presumably as they are superficial and don’t affect the working of the stairlift. You will also receive an annual service in with the charge for a warranty.
There are all sorts of additional policies offered on equipment which cover accidental damage from day one, but this is over and above manufacturers’ warranties and you will have to pay an annual premium for it. Before you take out any additional policies check what you are covered for in your standard initial warranty.
Some manufacturers will remove lifts when they are no longer needed. Depending on the age of the unit – new or reconditioned – they may make you a nominal payment providing it is in good condition and has a regular service record. It can then be used again as a reconditioned unit. If not they will remove and dispose of according to environmental standards.
After care service
Many suppliers/manufacturers offer an after care service which is available 24/7 every day of the year. This can give you added peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, this service will attend to your needs quickly so that your mobility isn’t affected.
When you need to purchase a lift, choose a bonefide company that supplies several makes to help you decide which one is best for you. At Castle Comfort, with our years of experience, we will help you make the right choice from a number of options.
We can advise on all warranties and we offer good after care service. There are alternatives. Many specialist businesses exist through the UK that specialise in repairs and looking after chairlifts as opposed to installing them. We know and deal with many of them on a regular basis.
To conclude this section, we will now offer a very useful piece of advice, which will enable you to get the best deal. When choosing and negotiating the purchase of your lift … always ask for an additional period of warranty beyond what is offered. This is as important as the cost of the lift. Extra cover amounts to the spending of your hard earned cash getting better value because, if say when the initial one or two years’ cover ends– you may just have a problem and then be faced with call out and parts costs.
Be a wise owl.. when you have almost made that decision to buy– grab that extra warranty with a polite ‘take it or leave it’ style. It will be taken. When you get the inevitable approach from the warranty sales departments of the company, don’t be surprised if an incentive is offered to sign up there and then – perhaps even though you have most of the standard included period to run. But as with any offers, if it is going to run out ‘at midnight’ or ‘next week’ there will be another one – and it may be a touch better and even more tempting. Contact us for the best advice and we can arrange everything in a straight forward manner where you know what is covered and by whom. Call 0800 007 5050 today.