Do your guarantees match your advertising and rhetoric?

At our company we teach quite a lot of classes and that means we do a lot of printing. So, we decided to move up to a really serious printer. Whenever we go to a high-end print shop, they all use Fuji Xerox Docucenter printers. So we thought we should get one.

These are truly amazing printers/copiers. The print quality is the best available. The print speed is awesome (and just based on your budget). The capabilties are exactly what we need. The printers are renowned for their reliability and the price of the printers reflects their high-end status.

However, given a company claims to have the best product available, charges a price that matches those claims and also says that it almost never breaks down, how long would you imagine they would warrant it for? 12 months? 24 months? 36 months? 5 years?

I was a little stunned to see that they cover only the cost of parts for 3 months. Yes, that's no misprint. It's 3 months.

I am assured this is "normal" for this segment of the industry. Am I alone in finding this more than a little odd? A small car manufacturer would warrant their similarly-priced product for 3 or 5 years today.

I understand that most people buy these with some sort of ongoing service agreement but is there any other industry where you sell items that cost as much as a car and only warrant it for 3 months? What message does that really send about the manufacturer's confidence in their own product?

5 thoughts on “Do your guarantees match your advertising and rhetoric?”

  1. Not surprising. Three months warranty for no service agreement sounds like you might have even found a vendor that's feeling optimistic.
    In my experience, regardless of price, many commercial printers are notoriously unreliable. When a vendor says that "it almost never breaks down" just means you'll *probably* get the printer out of the box/crate OK but when you start feeding paper into the thing all bets are off…

  2. Did you verify that it is actually true for that segment of the industry? And how many players are there in that segment of the industry?

  3. " I understand that most people buy these with some sort of ongoing service agreement but is there any other industry where you sell items that cost as much as a car and only warrant it for 3 months? What message does that really send about the manufacturer's confidence in their own product? "
    <WEG>
    Software Industry?
    </WEG>

  4. Greg,
    Let me be the Devil's advocate here. Did you figure out how much cheaper you small car would be without that 5 year warranty? The price of that warranty is included in the price of the car. We do not have a choice to shop around for the best deal or choose what coverage we need. We pay for the warranty, and it is marketed so well that we feel good about it.
    Maybe, just maybe, these commercial grade printers are usually bought by purchasing analysts who typically see through marketing tricks and prefer to have a choice? Maybe purchasing analysts know better how to buy things than we the IT folks do?

  5. I've worked with commercial xerox digital print houses before, which essentially use giant colour photocopiers (iGEN3 = around $1mil of printer) and there are techs on-site every few days!

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