Manufacturer’s Flooring Warranties – Tips for Safe Online Purchases.
Article Summary: This article is specifically about flooring warranties when buying online from Internet flooring providers. What to look for and questions to ask to ensure your online purchase is as trouble-free as possible.
There are many reasons why you should consider buying your flooring materials online, not least of which is cost. Resellers have been able to harness the flexibility and cost savings of using the Internet to pass on huge savings to you, the buying public. Not having to physically stock huge quantities of timber and materials saves them a lot of money, and they pass those savings on to you.
However, a lot of consumers are concerned about flooring warranties; are they protected the same as a warranty from a shop? How long is the warranty? What if the product is faulty? How do I complain?
It’s worth stating right from the start – No manufacturer can deny an Implied Warranty. An implied warranty is an unwritten warranty that comes with every product sold, online or otherwise. They are embodied in State Law and are enforceable regardless of whether a manufacturer agrees with them or not. They basically state that a product must be “fit for purpose” and that it will perform as a reasonable person would expect it to. Regarding flooring products, this means that all other factors excepted, your floor should be of a quality and manufacturing standard as stated in any sales literature and will perform as reasonably expected.
Some states are able to sell products in “as is” condition. These products are usually sold as seconds and carry no warranty. However, in some states this is illegal and ALL products carry an implied warranty. If a manufacturer or reseller denies responsibility for their products, take the matter up with your state Consumer Law center, they are there to help you.
There is no set period for an implied warranty. Many people think that after one year, all warranties are void. Not true. Again, if you are being told that the warranty is void, take the matter up with your local Consumer Law center.
How do most flooring warranty problem’s arise?
It has to be said that the most common problem is incorrect fitting and handling of the flooring product. It cannot be stressed enough that before fitting you must read the manufacturer’s instructions. If the fault has been caused by you, then you will have to bear the cost of the problem, not the manufacturer and your flooring warranty may be void.
Another point to be aware of is that whoever sells you your flooring must be authorized to do so. Without being authorized, they are acting as a third party and your contract is with them, not the manufacturer. So always make sure the reseller is authorized.
Additional Written Flooring Warranties
A manufacturer or retailer may offer additional written flooring warranties. This is not compulsory but most do it as a measure of confidence in their own products. It is important that you read any additional flooring warranties first and when buying online take the following points into consideration:
- What period of time does the warranty cover?
- When does the warranty start and finish?
- Who will honor the warranty, the manufacturer or online retailer?
- What action will the warrantor take to remedy a failed product…
- Repair the flooring?
- Replace the flooring?
- Refund your money?
- What is covered by the warranty? (Labor, materials or both)
- Check any limitations to the warranty
- How strictly must you stick to the manufacturers fitting instructions?
- Is there a difference between a business and individual use of the flooring?
- Is consequential damage included?
- Is your wasted time and expense covered?
- What maintenance requirements does the warranty stipulate?
Are worthless. Even though they do form part of a contract, they are almost impossible to prove. Ignore them and get everything in writing.
Tips for Buying Online
Most online retailers are honest and reliable. However, to avoid any pitfalls associated with any online purchase, I would recommend you carry out some basic checks to ensure the legitimacy of an online business.
- Is a physical address given on the web site?
- Does the web site have other contact details?
- Never use an online business that uses free email addresses (hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc)
- Never respond to unsolicited email by clicking on links in the email
- Know exactly what you are buying
- Don’t overlook shipping and handling costs
- Make sure the web site uses secure encrypted pages when sending Credit Card details
Credit cards are probably the safest way to purchase over the Internet (or for any purchase for that matter). The actual contract is between the credit card company and the retailer, not you and the retailer. So if anything goes wrong, you can also take the matter up with your credit card company, especially if you haven’t signed anything for the purchase.