A SHORT PERSPECTIVE - WINDOWS & DOOR ISSUES
Marketing Materials are susceptible to being misconstrued as a warranty of suitability and/or performance existing outside of the company’s intended, written warranty. This is especially true when unequivocal factual assertions are made. Some product variation should be recognized. It is important to emphasize positive product attributes in a way that does not contradict the scope of the intended warranty.
We call it “balancing the warranties.” Windows and doors are fabricated from important purchased components which should be warranted by your supplier. Compare and contrast the scope of the warranty provided by your supplier with the promises that accompany the finished window or door in your product warranty as it goes into the marketplace. Ask “Why?” if there is a significant imbalance.
The use of distributors to resell your product raises a distinct set of issues. Distributor communications with product consumers can be a source of liability and may be binding on the manufacturer. The goals and method for managing distributor rights and responsibilities must be established and maintained. Resellers which provide installation require extra attention.
The warranty represents the single most important document with respect to both customer care and liability management. No “cookie cutter;” the warranty should reflect your company’s commitment to its product and its desire to eliminate unreasonable risk. A range of inputs are required because the components of the warranty should meet market demand and legal requirements. The Gary Law Group has been involved in development, communication and enforcement of multiple fenestration product warranties.
Product manufacturers get product claims; windows and doors are no exception. The work starts before a claim is ever received. The manufacturer and reseller must have an established philosophy toward claims. Variation from that approach should be exceptional. We propose if a product problem exists, move forcefully to correct it. Even then, recognize your legal rights. If no product defect is present “stick to your guns.” In any event, experienced analysis is key to efficient evaluation of the scope of the problem.