Warranty Repairs

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Mdirrigation, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,792

    Went out to a new customer today and replaced 3 Hunter pgp's and adjusted and checked whole system. Hand the customer the bill , he tells me the system is still under warranty . he tells me that the co that installed it is out of business and since I install hunter that the warranty is still in effect. I am wondering how some of you would have handeled this situation?
  2. MikeK

    MikeK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    I would do whatever it takes to make it right with the customer.
    You should be able to get warranty from the heads from the Hunter Distributor.
    Charge him for the system check out and do what it takes to keep him as a Maint. Customer.
    Over the long haul, if he is a good customer, you will get much more than what you lost out of him
  3. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Agree with Mike on warranting the heads, because you can get them replaced at the supplier. However you still need to charge for the labor. If the other company is out of business it is not your responsibility to take over their warranty. Minimum of a service call for that one.

    But you probably should have worked that out before hand. Most customers understand that workmanship is not included. Especially since most manufacturers have a warranty that extends way past the workmanship warranty.

    Hope you can get paid for the labor.

  4. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,792

    I got paid for the labor , the customer understood that one , I gave him a credit on the heads provided they were still under warranty. I also picked up the neighbors all for regular service.
  5. aquamtic

    aquamtic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    You can easily see the manufacturers date on the head to see if they still fall within the warranty period. Ask for paperwork from the installer to see install dates . But the problem must be related to malfunctioning of the head. Warranty does not cover damage caused by customer or lawn equipment.
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Hmmm. I guess you all are much kinder than I am. I would have billed him for the full amount due (including heads) and told him that if the heads were under warranty, he could work out a reimbursement with Hunter Ind. directly. There's no way I would have taken the hit for that one. We're too friggin' busy with irrigation work and irrigation repairs to monkey around with crap like that.

    I'll warranty stuff we've installed for sevaral years - parts and labor. But I won't warranty anything someone else has installed - parts nor labor. Sorry.
  7. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,932

    I'm with Mr. Lewis on this one.
    You did not make the profit off of selling the head to this client. The warranty is offered by Hunter, not the installer.

    As with many warranties, whether it hunter, R.B. irritrol ect.... they only cover the replacement cost of the unit, but not the labor cost.

    As to charging for your time... As long as you were professional about it, the client would of called you back. Most common complaint I get is "I've called 20 people and you were the 1rst one to call me and come over.

  8. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,792

    i was paid for the service call , I just swaped out a warranty head. Now I have another service customer. In addition I verified that the contractor went out of business, I found him at his house , I offered him a deal where as I would service his old customers and take his buisness phone number . I aquired 106 customers just for the cost of the existing yellow page add . I have since sent out service agreeements explaining the situation where the parts are still covered , but the labor isnt . I have recieved 85 agreements back .
  9. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    This is a fine example of thinking outside the box with out an attitude.

    I just sent out a mailing to 3 doz fert customers with sprinkler systems I do not service. Just went so no results. I offered $20 off on a winterization and $40 off a winterization spring start up combo.

    Some might say they are already a customer why give them a break. I want all their business. It costs me more than $40 to generate a new client through methods other than referall. Irrigation clients maybe worth the price of a start up and winterization in terms of market value here. So to aquire more for $40 each is inexpensive. Everytime I land a new fert account or sprinkler account my net worth goes up by the market value of that account in addition to producing revenue and profit until I sell. The ringing of the phone sounds more like a cash register going cha-ching, cha-ching to me.

    So what some of you look at as adversity and BS in this case is opportunity to others.

    And this problem brings up another attitude adjustment opportunity. If you are not running your business as a labor driven business meaning time is what you sell and where you make you $$$'s, you are making a mistake. Selling your employees time is assured in a service business. Selling materials in irrigation serice is hit and miss for the time invested. How much can you make in parts cleaning heads, replacing spray nozzles or any other labor intensive, low material input part of sprinkler service? Calculate costs so they are covered by labor adn profit is made by labor and let the parts be a bonus.
  10. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274


    Excellent points. In the irrigation repair business it is the labor that is the money maker. When a customer calls and says that they have a broken head or two, and when the work is all said and done, I have replaced a nozzle that I can charge them $2.00 for (cost me $.98) or maybe a head and nozzle for a total parts bill of $4.85. (my cost under $2.00) and spent a grand total of about 15 minutes on site. But when the invoice goes out the total is $59.85 plus tax. And they pay it. Where did I make my money? Well it dang sure isn't on the parts. I had a mainline repair that was a little difficult to get to (difficult = deep and lots of roots) Total parts used 1 - 2" Slip Fix and 1 - 2" coupling and a little bit of Christy's RHBG. But the total invoice was for over $200.00. It is the labor that you sell as an irrigation repair service, and any extra made off replacement parts is gravy money. Now replacing a controller is different in that you get to make money on both sides - or do you? You still make the mark-up on materials and that gross profit is still 40 - 50% same as it is on the sprinkler nozzle. You're just going to be there a full hour replacing that controller for the $55.00.

    By replacing those rotor heads, MDI made the money off of his labor, Hunter replaced the sprinklers under their warranty so he wasn't out any money for parts, plus he got more service work and new customers from the whole deal. Was it worth the $20.00 he would have made by insisting that the customer take up the warranty replacement with Hunter. I think it was more than worth it. Sometimes a little good will give great returns. Have you ever given a nozzle to someone while you were on another job. Give them a nozzle and a card. $1.00 worth of good will netted me a spring check and backflow test totalling $110.00 invoiced. Well worth that nozzle I'd say.


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