Warranties: Understanding the Difference Between Explicit and Implicit

Inside Strite

Whenever the question of warranties come up as clients consider investing in a remodel project, we take pains to point out the difference between our warranty policy from both an explicit and implicit point of view.

Explicitly, all STRITE remodel agreements include a one year labor warranty, with materials and products subject to the warranties of their respective manufacturers and suppliers.  Having said this, however, we should add that in nearly four decades of doing business, warranties have never been an issue for our company.  The reason for this is not simply that we stand behind the quality of our work, but more importantly because we believe that, “once a STRITE customer, always a STRITE customer.”

Let’s take one example of this “implicit” side of our warranty policy.  Suppose that 18 months after a bathroom remodel, a client calls us to say that the caulking around their toilet has failed.  The first thing we do is to schedule a service call (at no charge to the client, of course).  On determining the nature of the problem, we assign a work order — just as we would with any other project.  If we determine that the quality of the original job falls short of our standards (which after 37 years, are pretty darn high), we repair or replace it at no charge.  If the problem falls within the reasonable life expectancy of wear and tear, we may still elect to fix it at no cost — or at worst, simply charge for time and materials.

If this seems an oddly philanthropic approach to running a for-profit enterprise, consider this: our best source of new business comes from repeat jobs and referrals.  Making a client happy, and reaffirming their belief in your professionalism and integrity, is just good business.  The fact is, we want our clients to call us if something goes wrong — and they often do, even when the problem at hand has nothing to do with a project we completed for them.  They simply trust our professionalism and expertise.

The concept of “warranty” takes on a very different meaning when people believe that you will always be there for them.  This is a warranty that is implicit in the number of customers we’ve worked with, and the number of years we’ve been around.  In a nutshell, integrity is our best warranty — and what our customers are looking for, beyond what is written in a remodel agreement, is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll be around long after the “explicit” warranty has expired.  There is, after all, no expiration date on being a STRITE customer.