In what can be termed as one of the most unprecedented moves in recent times, so unique in nature and yet so unanimous in its approach, India’s 10 leading vendors came out in the open with their warranty policies. All this began quite some time ago with DQCI understanding the significance that partners attached to warranty issues. Problems related to warranty have always bothered partners and have hassled them time and again. 

The gravity of the situation was further brought to everyone’s notice at the recently held panel meet on warranty issues organized jointly by DQCI and TAIT. While vendors in the panel were at pains to explain, convince and please partners about the transparency and effectiveness of their warranty policies, partners were surely not in a mood to buy what vendors said. 

What partners demanded first and foremost was that all the vendors make their warranty policies publicly available and easily comprehensible. Next, the channel demanded that the vendors also make their DOA policies crystal clear and not leaving it open to interpretation. 

Next, they expected vendors to give commitments on remedial actions taken, in case they fail to stick to their warranty promises. And finally, partners asked them as to what does one do if they fail to deliver what they promised. 

While DQCI could not have provided all the answers, what it surely did try to do was to elicit responses from 10 leading vendors in the country on their respective warranty policies. And did we succeed? A look at the comprehensive chart along side and the answer would be obvious!

These vendors, which included the likes of HP, IBM, Samsung, Intel, LG, D-Link, Seagate, Dax, Kobian and Epson, not only willing to disclose their warranty policies, few even went to the extent of actually sending us the entire copy of their policy document!

The chart gives a comprehensive yet precise information on what different vendors’ policies are when it comes to issues like the date of commencement of warranty period, turn around time for warranty-related problems, DOA policies, international warranty and so on. While it doesn’t attempt to outline the nitty-gritties of individual warranty policies, it surely can serve as a ready reckoner for partners.

A look at the chart and one can see couple of features that stand out. Contrary to the popular belief that there are ambiguities on the fact as to when the actual warranty period begins, all 10 vendors have clearly mentioned their policy in this regard. Also the clear mention by vendors of turn around time for warranty issues could be seen as an encouraging step. 

An interesting area however is the issue of warranty support on parallelly imported products. Majority of the vendors decline to offer any support and even if they do, it is on a chargeable basis. 

This area is sure to give rise to many more debates because a good amount of partners feel that there is nothing wrong in selling goods imported parallelly in a legal manner.

One of the gray areas which emerged in this analysis is the exclusion of products/parts from warranty. Barring a couple of vendors, everybody else seems to be having a long list of ‘ifs and buts’. While vendors would justify the aptness of different clauses, partners apparently would continue to demand the discontinuance of ‘fine-print’ approach. 

Whatever it may be, one thing stands loud and clear: Vendors are no more shying away from coming out in open about their warranty policies. Now what remains to be seen is to what extent are vendors going to adhere to the promises in their policies. Probably in the near future, we may come out with a DQCI warranty performance index!

GOLDIE in Mumbai

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