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Can you trust that warranty?

The SA Consumer Protection Act provides a measure of protection should something go wrong with a purchase you’ve made and in addition, many security barrier companies offer seemingly generous warranties on their products.  So you’d think you were well protected. Here are some hidden facts that may leave you stranded when trying to make a claim.

But first we’d like to point out that Trellidor offers sound, realistic warranties on all our products, no matter where they are fitted.  We have faith in the ability of our barriers to withstand local conditions such as marine environments due to our superior manufacturing and powder coating processes. Our products carry warranties in terms of quality, defective workmanship, materials and corrosion resistance.  The length of the warranty differs with each range.

There are companies in every industry that offer warranties with the sales tag ‘guaranteed for life’ or something similarly lavish. But remember the old adage: ‘if it sounds too good to be true it usually is’. 

There are always terms and conditions

Warranties usually only apply to workmanship and materials and they are never offered unconditionally, so make sure you read the terms and conditions in the fine print. Sometimes these are tediously long, but you need to know what you are signing before a problem arises. 

Some suppliers, for example, expect you to call them in to service your security barriers every year, at your cost, and if you don’t do this, they won’t honour their warranty if the barrier fails in any way.  It’s there in the fine print and you have no recourse to the excuse of ‘I didn’t know’.

It’s easy to void the warranty by mistake

There have been cases where security products have failed and homeowners have been unable to get the service they were expecting because some action they took or failed to take made the warranty void.

Most suppliers, for example, expect you to maintain your security barriers through regular cleaning according to instructions.  This is particularly important if you live close to the coast, where corrosion is a real threat.  But it applies everywhere because like any regularly used product, security gates and burglar proofing are subject to weathering and general wear and tear.

The maintenance issue is one of those instances where you have to take responsibility.  Make sure you adhere to the terms of the warranty or ‘lifetime guarantee’ so that you don’t get caught with a warranty negated by your actions, or lack of action if you haven’t cleaned your barriers according to instructions.

The same applies to any alterations to the product requested on site, such as a ‘doggie door’ cut into a security gate.  This type of modification compromises the strength of the barrier and could violate the terms of the warranty, so you’ll generally be asked to acknowledge this by signing a waiver.

Another common error is to move a security gate from one doorway to another, accidently voiding the warranty on that barrier. This is because it wasn’t made to fit that opening and probably won’t offer the same level of protection.  Plus it wasn’t re-fitted by an authorised installer.  Rather ask your supplier to do this for you.

Don’t be fooled by unrealistic promises

It’s easy to offer customers enticing ‘extras’ such as a lifetime or 10 year guarantee but not so easy to honour when the chips are down.  Here are some questions to ask about tempting warranties:

  • How long has the company been around?
  • Are they likely to be around in 10 years’ time when you need them to honour the warranty?
  • Is it realistic to expect this product to last a lifetime, especially if you live in or near a marine environment?
  • Have you checked websites such as HelloPeter and social networks to find out how well the supplier resolves problems, including warranty complaints?
  •  How does a lifetime or long-term warranty work if you sell the home?  Does it end with you or does it stay with the new owner?
  • Likewise if you move into a home that is already protected by barriers –is the warranty still valid and does it apply to you?

Personal security is an investment, so do your homework

Security measures are increasingly becoming a necessity in our uncertain world, so make sure you do your research before falling for gimmicky sales techniques.  Here’s how:

  • If purchasing new security barriers, make sure you understand the terms and conditions associated with your chosen product.
  • Ask questions about the company and its warranties – see the list above.
  • If purchasing second hand security barriers, make sure you know what you’re buying.  Trellidor franchises are frequently called in to repair products that are not genuine Trellidor barriers.  Read our blog on the dangers of buying used ‘Trellidor’ barriers.
  • Check consumer websites and social media platforms to see how quickly service providers attend to warranty complaints.

For further information on warranties contact your local Trellidor RSA franchise or Trellidor International distributor.

* Information true and correct at the time of publish
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