How many times have we seen a guarantee or warranty on a product that leaves us wondering what is in that warranty? Whether buying furniture, car service, home repairs or whatever the product or service is, we often hear a warranty as part of the embellishing remarks. When the warranty is included free, we are less likely to really care about checking up on the fine print. It can make us feel warm and fuzzy inside like we are getting a bonus on something we already planned to purchase. Reading all that fine print in the short time of a visit with a sales person usually persuades us not to do it.
Then a few years down the road, we hear the malcontent stories of poor services and the warranties related to them all the time. The service industry is one of the most scrutinized segments in the consumer market. It comes down to the nature of what is being received. Most times, consumers are paying for something that has no hidden value. Its value is obvious to most people when having a service performed. For us as consumers, being proactive about services is far more difficult than being reactive because we don’t see the value in service until the product needs it.
When warranties are presented to us, they beg our attention. We enter into a hypnotic trance of peace feeling reassured that the product being installed or serviced will take care of itself. Then when the product on our home fails right after the 5 year installation warranty runs out, we start to regret that decision. We become conspiracy theorists and begin to ask:
- Why do the materials have a much longer warranty than the installation?
- Did the installers do something to make it fail after 5 years?
- Why do we have to go back and forth with the installer and supplier?
- Did I just buy a guaranteed piece of garbage?
A warranty in the housing industry is most often a construct of two separate warranties. There is the material warranty and the installation warranty. The material may be guaranteed from 20 years to a lifetime. They can do this because they have clauses in the warranty language excluding them from compensation when the installation is incorrectly done. In an industry where standards are as scarce as reputable service companies, this could mean the material will never reach full warranty.
Ever have a window installer use wooden shims to put new very expensive windows in your home? Ever have a gutter installer use caulk to seal a mistake? These are common installer practices that can void a material warranty. When it comes to retail supplied materials, there is almost never a warranty for longevity. They know that the DIY installer is not a qualified or experienced installer. When it comes to installer-required materials, the warranty on the materials should be as important to the installer as it is to the homeowner.
Most gutter installers do not make their own products, much like any contractor in the building industry. Therefore quality-trained-installer-required supply companies do their best to find reputable servicing partners to install their products but it doesn’t always work out. Then there are others that are satisfied to just find anyone.
A good case-in-point is the Gutter Helmet company. Taking just a minute of our time to search Google for Gutter Helmet reviews will bring up a list of complaints. If the list was consolidated to specific areas, we may be able to blame the lack of qualified service installers however, the complaints are far and wide. The product does not meet its warranted purpose of keeping the gutters clog free. We do not make this statement because we make our own leaf protection system or profit in commissions selling an alternative. We make this claim because we were installing Gutter Helmet for homeowners at one time. So what took us away from this product?
Here at the Brothers that just do Gutters, we work to partner with the best material providers. This is important to us so we can keep our business reputable and profitable in the industry. When we hear about a problem with our service, we go to the home owner’s residence to make it right and we won’t stop going back until it is right. Not only do we do this to build a good reputation, we also do it because we want to make right any wrong. It would soon not be profitable if the material continually fails to perform regardless of our installation efforts.That is why we moved away from the Gutter Helmet brand. It was costing us reputation and profit.
Typically we don’t have to tell homeowners to look for any problems with the gutter system we just installed. It comes natural to want to test the new installation that just cost a lot of hard-earned money. We have even had cases where we told people to wait for a few rains to wash away some oils that exist on our leaf protection systems but their anxiety doesn’t comply. We understand and go out to their residence to see what we can do.
We are not perfect in our installation efforts which is why we want people to check up on our work and keep us in check. We use Angie’s List and Guild Quality as independent review services to create a trust that the reviews are legitimate. After every gutter install, we inform the homeowner to invest in maintaining the gutters to make them last and the only time a homeowner needs to meet specific criteria is when they want our 10 year warranty on the installation.
What we are sure of is when Brothers Gutters hands you a warranty, it should not be our warranty that sells you on the service, it should be our service record and reputation. We work hard to make sure the warranty is more than just words on a contract – we make it a working lifestyle. Check our Angie’s List and Guild Quality reviews and then go to brothersgutters.com to see all our products and services.