Extended warranties on boilers good for the engineer? Who’s kidding who!
I would just like to raise a few points on the boiler industry’s ever increasing warranties so if you keep with me for a bit I will try to make my point.
I have been kicking around in the industry for a long time now (possibly too long) so I have seen a lot of changes. Well the other week we ran an Ideal Boiler pizza lunch for our trade counter which went very well. One of Ideal Boilers pitches was if you check a box to service the boiler yourself on the registration card Ideal promises not to “pinch your customer” That got me thinking a bit. What are some of the manufacturers doing now compared with years gone by. Back in the day an installer purchased a boiler which came with a 1 year warranty which was extended to 2 years where it remained for some time. You then installed the boiler and got the ongoing service work if you wanted it, if you did not another service engineer would pick up the work. Spares were purchased in the open market and the manufacturers washed their hands of warranty, 10 or 15 years down the line you got the job again. Not so now!
Buy and register your boiler now so you comply with Gas Safe and the new extended warranties and then some manufacturer start harvesting the customer information. Many make direct approaches to you customers for service and repairs ongoing even offering installations on older models and also on finance. Bit by bit they are encroaching on us all. Many engineers have come up against manufacturers offers of “any part and any repair for a fixed fee” It is definitely a creeping trend. You promote, sell and install a boiler only to then have your long term future work eroded or simply just taken over by a corporate body who despite their promises do not give a hoot about you or your future business. We are being seen as a means to an end.
Sounds a bit like a moan up and all conspiracy theories doesn’t?
How many of you have seen or heard about Boxt the online book a boiler installation company? I ran a “who owns” and a directors report on it and a lot of you would be shocked if you try it. A major brand is beginning to compete directly with you in the market place so check it out yourselves. I know that everything changes because that is the future but this kind of behaviour from the companies we all promote is not good for us. It seems to me that when the fly by night cowboy who does a crap installation and does not register the boiler proves to be your best friend then we have slipped into a parallel universe. At least then you will get the corrective work and the ongoing maintenance.
Ever extending warranties only seem to remove work from independent gas installers and engineers and then divert it to the manufacturer. A definite trend is beginning with long term implications. I am really not sure what can be done about this now apart from always ticking that box or maybe going to work for the manufacturers. Perhaps we all need to be taking note but one thing is for sure! Extended warranties are of no use to the independent engineer or heating merchants so wake up and smell the coffee.