What’s In A WARRANTY?
1) Most customers are wary of companies who offer what appear to be “too good to be true” warranties, and for good reason. Very often promotion of a lifetime warranty is more about marketing and influencing the customers purchase decision, than about insuring service quality and results. Even worse many Mold Remediation Companies represent Sealer Product 10 year warranties as their own warranty. Unfortunately, many customers become painfully
aware of the legitimacy of these warranties when the make a claim. It is only then that they are directed to the “fine print” which narrowly defines what terms like lifetime and limited mean in the context of the warranty. Many also become painfully aware that the hyped 10 year warranty is only on the Sealer product and does not cover 80% of the cost of the original work which is the services. And while the phrase “lifetime warranty” sounds good it is not nearly as
important as what is covered by the warranty, the customer’s responsibility in terms of submitting a claim and what the company’s responsibility is under the warranty. Obtaining answers to the following questions will clarify whether the warranty was written for the benefit of the company or the customer. If the warranty is not a simple, straightforward and comprehensive it is a BAD WARRANTY and a bad deal at any price.
2) What does the term lifetime mean in the warranty? – The term “lifetime” within a warranty is defined by the company, usually in not so apparent and clear wording, within the warranty itself. In the case of mold cleanup or remediation it could mean the life of materials being used, length of time the customer owns the property or even a defined timeframe such as 3 years from completion of the service. If you selected a franchise company make sure the warranty is with the parent company not the local franchise, as
high failure and turnover rates within franchises is cause for concern. Also avoid companies that utilize third party warranty companies to administer or settle warranty claims.
What does the term limited mean in the warranty? - In the case of mold cleaning or remediation the term limited is used to define what area and services are covered and to what the companies responsibility is under a warranty claim.
3) What is covered under the warranty? – Most companies limit the warranty coverage to the specific work that was performed with no mention of the area or conditions that were cleaned and/or remediated. In this instance the more specific the company’s language is in the work proposal or bid the better. A statement that they will perform necessary mold cleanup or remediation services in the attic is intentionally vague. You want them to be as specific as possible regarding what services will be performed to areas (e.g. attic), parts (e.g. joists and roof sheathing), what products or materials will be used and the description or work should indicate square footage. Be wary of language which limits the company’s responsibility to just the services performed, with the possibility of deferring problems or issues to product failures and a product warranty claim. Avoid mold remediation companies that present product warranties as their own and do not warranty all services performed and all products use. They selected the product and they should know when, where and how to use the product. If the product fails they should cover any and all consequences of that failure.
You do not want to be caught in the middle of determining whether the service or product company are at fault.
4) What is the Company’s responsibility? - Virtually every company indicates that their total responsibility under the warranty is limited to the dollar amount the customer paid for the service. Giving the company the option of refunding the customer’s money rather than correcting the problem. You are far better off with a company, whose warranty indicates they will correct any and all problems associated with the original problem, work performed as stated in the service proposal / bid, including redoing the complete job.
5) What situations are not covered? - All warranties will contain language regarding unrelated events or customer actions that void the warranty. Mold clean up and remediation warranties will tie the warranty to existing conditions such as a basement leak that will need to be corrected to prevent development of a new mold growth. In addition, most warranties state that new water intrusions or events that create ideal conditions for mold growth are not covered.
Such statements are reasonable as they relate to events that are unrelated to the initial problem. What is not reasonable are notification clauses regarding mold re-growth that is not specifically related to a new event or water intrusion. Indeed, some warranties state that the customer must contact the company within 2 to 3 weeks if there is any sign of mold in the serviced area. If there is no new event or water intrusion then such clauses are what they seem to be. An easy way for the company to avoid covering the results of substandard work.
Again, this is where specificity in terms of the services to be performed and products to be used within the service proposal / bid is essential for the customer.
6) What is the claims procedure? – One of the classic strategies employed by less that reputable company’s within their warranty is a claims procedure that is tedious and confusing. The notification clause identified above is one of the many ways companies discourage customers from making warranty claims. Another common approach is to have warranty claims handled either directly or indirectly by third party warranty companies. Make no mistake, these third party warranty companies are chosen because they limit the company’s warranty exposure, reducing both the number of approved warranty claims and total warranty costs.
They are not utilized to make it easier for the customer to submit a warranty claim, speed up the claim approval process or insure the customer is treated fairly under the warranty. Warranties handled by national franchise companies on behalf of local franchise offices are often similar to third party warranties.
MicroArmor’s warranty is simple, comprehensive, fully transferable and includes a straightforward, no nonsense claims procedure. If the customer is unhappy with any of our services as defined in the service proposal / bid we will correct the problem at no cost to the customer. Depending on what services are chosen by the customer the warranty period can extend for 3, 5 or more years. Since MicroArmor manufactures and utilizes the finest mold cleanup, remediation and sealer products in the industry your can be assured that your warranty will cover everything.
Of course we can provide the most comprehensive and responsive warranty in the industry because it is unlikely the customer would ever be dissatisfied or make a claim. But in the unlikely event one of our customers would make a warranty claim, they won’t be confronted with a “lifetime warranty” that isn’t worth the paper it’s written on and a claim procedure that prevents the customer from finding out how bad the coverage really is.