What should an aftermarket warranty look like?
Remember when Aftermarket parts had a one year warranty?
Why is it shrinking and Where did it go?
It is a well known industry standard that OEM warranties are 90 days. Right, wrong, or indifferent, this is the way it is and how it has been. The common thought process is it doesn't matter much, it is OEM, which should equal quality. If this part is designed and spec'd to fit this exact unit, 90 days should be more than enough if there is a failure due to defect. Again, agree or disagree, it is how our industry operates.
So what does that mean for aftermarket parts? Aftermarket, no matter how you label it, can come with a negative connotation, often with reason. There are places in every industry that offers aftermarket, low cost, low quality products to entice you with savings but leaving you with the cost of an inferior part. This does NOT mean all aftermarket parts are inferior. To the contrary, many are actually a higher quality in this cost cutting environment we are currently in. An aftermarket 20amp toggle can offer significant savings and life cycle over a 10-15amp OEM toggle. Aftermarket high temp sleeving over a capillary or other wire can extend the use of a replacement part and still save money over an OEM. Often the simplest way to prove quality of an aftermarket item is through the warranty. By providing a longer warranty than the OEM, it shows a factory and supplier stand behind the quality and function. So how long should that warranty be?
Remember when aftermarket used to mean a 1 year warranty? It still does depending on where you purchase it. CashParts offers one year warranty on almost all the stocked aftermarket parts. We are not going to say there is never an exception as that is just not true. The next question is always, When does that one year begin, purchase date or install date? Again, this answer may vary, not always ideal, sure but understandable. An electric control board that was purchased 2-½ years before installation sat in unknown conditions and failed 9 months after installation becomes difficult to go back to the factory and say it was within a year (real example here). So often for these types of reasons it is followed a year after it is received. So if there is already this much gray area possible, having aftermarket warranties cut in half when the factories still honor it leave many scratching their heads. So to clarify, CashParts offers a one year warranty on aftermarket parts.
Well that's awesome and used to be an industry standard! Now let's go ahead and go one step further, what is, and more importantly NOT covered (because what is not covered is what costs you the reader time and $). Parts have a warranty covering the function and workmanship under normal function. I know, more vague verbiage right? Well, if you don't like how a gas GS thermostat valve fits or functions and decide you can retrofit a unit to a KX thermostat and add a valve (yup, another true story here), and that KX thermostat "fails", can you really blame the workmanship of that thermostat? Also, quartz elements should not have grease on them, this includes from someone's hands, otherwise they will definitely break, is this a defect or usage issue? Perhaps this is basic, but it is the reason for some of that vague wordmanship that can be needed. The basics of it, if a part fails, is installed as a direct replacement for what it is supposed to do and is within the warranty period, it should be covered.
So, who covers time, trip, and shipping? No one likes this answered, but a lot of it falls on the service company and is shared with the distributor (depending on who the distributor is). Let's start with time and trip, sorry this is something not covered by the component factories (and rarely the OEM), trip charges and labor rates vary greatly, and there are many things to factor in. So unfortunately, this is the burden of the service company (many will not come right out and say this, but it is the reality). Ok well that sucks, so the distributor covers shipping? Yes/no, and it also depends on the distributor of course. CashParts covers a large portion but not 100%, let me explain. CashParts pays from the factory to us, then from us to the customer when replacing the defective item and again from us back to the factory. So that then leaves the customer to cover the original shipping and the return shipping. Then at that point the factory covers, well just the part. The warranty process is costly and a painful to everyone involved, so this is why it is so important that when choosing an aftermarket supplier, they sell quality replacements that they stand behind. Why should you be taking the bulk of the risk only to then be given a reduction in warranty coverage and then told it is the best out there? I'll just let you in on something your other suppliers might not want you to know, the factories that produce your parts have not reduced their warranty coverage.
**Warranties are intended and extended to licensed contractors. Improper installation by endusers is NOT covered and NOT a defect in the component.**