Over the past seven months, this column has debated the merits of warranty products.
The main focus has been on whether they represent good value for money for the retail consumer and whether they really are an important multi-point income generator for the dealer network.
At all times the evidence has been overwhelming in suggesting that they are. What has become abundantly apparent is that with the myriad of product providers and the plethora of product types, there are huge disparities both in levels of service provided and actual component coverage.
This, coupled with poor sales processes and explanation of product benefits, is where consumer dissatisfaction arises.
I, like many, was shocked to hear of yet another dealer group ceasing to trade two weeks ago. This came as a total surprise. How could such a reputable, not to mention sizable, group just shut its doors over night. To the uneducated eye you surely would have been reassured by the longevity of trading of this group as well as its financial backers.
This has highlighted one of the most debated points in warranty history: insured product versus uninsured product. I don’t know which product type was used in this instance, but it does serve as reminder as to how warranties can go so very wrong for the consumer.
Surely, with all that is written about consumer dissatisfaction, now is the time for us to evaluate things.
In these uncertain times is there a place for uninsured, dealer-held fund warranty programmes? If so what can we do to increase the integrity and value of such programmes in the consumers’ eyes.
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