The Truth About … Commercial Warranties

All commercial catering equipment will be sold with some form of warranty. This is a guarantee or promise made by the manufacturer that the appliance should perform as specified for the stated length of time. It gives general peace of mind that should any issues arise the customer will not be left high and dry with a unit that doesn’t work. Of course there are different types of warranty that will provide different levels of coverage so understanding and choosing the right cover for you is vital.

Here we explain the ins and outs of warranties so that you don’t caught out!

  • Know your main warranties and what they cover.

Parts only – this covers the breakdown of any internal components (due to manufacturer fault) necessary for operation but excludes perishable, ‘wear and tear’ items such as seals, handles, bulbs etc. The cost of labour to fix the unit is not included.

Parts and labour – any faulty internal components (due to manufacturer fault) will be replaced and fitted at the expense of the manufacturer.

  • Be aware of the length of your warranty cover.

Warranties generally range from 12 to 24 months however some major brands will offer up to 5 years. Simply, this means that your equipment is covered for the stated period from the date of delivery. Should you experience any issues outside of this time, even if it’s only by a couple of weeks, you will have to cover the cost of any repair. Equipment with a longer warranty period as standard is generally assumed to be of better quality.

  • Look for ‘back to base’ or ‘on site’ warranties.

‘Back to base’ warranties will generally only apply to smaller items. The equipment must be returned to the manufacturer if any issues arise. Some manufacturers will cover the transport of the equipment back to the factory however others will rely on the customer paying for carriage. Always check any details with your supplier prior to purchase.

‘On site’ warranties are more common and will apply to all large appliances. This cover means an engineer will attend site and remedy any issues while the equipment is in situ. Where the type of cover isn’t explicitly stated it is typically regarded as an on site warranty.

  • Warranties are held by the manufacturer not your supplier.

It can be frustrating and extremely inconvenient when essential equipment has broken down. Unfortunately endless calls to your supplier won’t hurry the process; the warranty is held by the manufacturer and not your supplier. While your supplier will contact the manufacturer on your behalf and handle the paperwork, it isn’t them that will be organising and dispatching an engineer or sending out replacement parts.

  • All warranties are subject to t’s & c’s.

As with everything warranties are subject of terms and conditions that outline protocol. Failure to abide by these stipulations could forfeit your cover and void all warranty. Look out for any instructions or guidelines such as ‘installation by a qualified engineer’, ‘water softener is recommended’, ‘suitable for light duty/semi commercial use only’. Failure to comply can compromise your warranty and leave you facing a hefty repair bill.

  • Understanding parts only cover within the warranty period.

Unfortunately it isn’t as simple as contacting your supplier and ordering the replacement components you need. Any parts will only be sent out once an engineer has attended site and diagnosed the problem. This call-out will be payable by the customer and is not covered under warranty. A detailed report of findings must be submitted to the manufacturer before any parts are dispatched.

*Some manufacturers require malfunctioning parts to be returned. In these cases a deposit may be required prior to new parts being sent, the deposit being returned once the manufacturer confirms receipt of the broken part.

  • Understanding parts and labour cover within the warranty period.

Once a breakdown has been reported an engineer will be sent to site. Upon diagnosis any replacement parts will be fitted and the equipment tested. All charges will be covered by the warranty. Should any fault determined by the engineer be as a result of misuse or something other than technical failure, the user will be liable to cover the cost of both parts and labour.

*A deposit will be taken prior to any engineer call-out. This will be returned once the engineer has diagnosed the issue and deemed it to be manufacturer error. In the case of non-warranty call-outs, the deposit will be kept and any additional costs must be covered by the customer.