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As a manufacturer, I can see good reason to discontinue warranty to 2nd owner. There are just too many places for a dishonest person to take advantage of transferable warranty. Companies that transfer warranty are probably builing into the cost of the product enough $ to allow continued support of the product past the typical ownership cycle (should it be shorter than the warranty period). In reality, a quality product should only ever need minor repair ... I consider any product that I need to use the warranty for a faulty design or lemon example of a good design. 'Nuf said.
I respectfully disagree with Slingshot. The warranty period represents that period where, in the opinion of the manufacturer, nothing should go wrong due to manufacturing defects or part failure. That is a term of the purchase. When that failure occurs during the warranty period, the manufacturer should fix it, whether there has been one owner, two owners or more. The warranty does not cover abuse, or "normal" wear and tear. It covers defects, which, unless a manufacturer has a zero error rate during manufacture, sometimes happens. I understand that having a transferable warranty may make it more likely that there will be a warranty repair, but if the manufacturer stands behind its product for a year or two or whatever, that should be independent of the identity of the owner.
Speaking of which, according to one Krell dealer who advertises often, Krell has discontinued their policy of honoring transferred warranties. I still see many people advertise their Krell gear as "warranty transferable" which I don't believe is true any more. I have praised Krell in the past for honoring the warranty (quickly and efficiently) and I think it's a big black mark against them that they no longer do, though I know many companies don't. -Kirk
I live an hour from Conrad Johnson by car. I once brought my MF2100 amp there because one channel went out. I was the second owner. I provided them with no ownership information, nor did they ask for any. They replaced a couple fuses and did a complete system check of the amp to make sure it was up to specifications, and to make sure nothing faulty cause the fuses to blow. They shipped it back to my house (in a new box!) so I would not have to drive over (weekday) to pick it up. The bill for this: $0.00
A warranty is an additional cost of manufacture based upon the estimated useful life prior to failure(mean time to failure) and the marketing value of providing customer service. It represents the "integrity" of a company in the mind of many. Only in the mind of manufacturers it represents extra cost which always is a trade off against potential sales.
That said, it sucks when high end audio manufacturers who sell units for interplanetary prices expect buyers and used buyers to accept the risk that their 5,10,30,000 brain child is really thrown together with crap and it's caveat emptor.
I am a firm believer that a manufacturer should service any of their products regardless of the owner or the place purchased. At the same time, I don't think its unreasonable for a manufacturer, at their sole discretion, to charge a reasonable fee for this service. Honoring 2nd owners should positively effect the value of the original owners investment. As a long-term business strategy, it's good business. It also implies that the manufacturer has faith in the business and their products. Possibly some manufacturers don't have good long-term vision.
On a related topic, who really cares about warranties? When buying equipment, do you even ask about the warranty? When buying new from a bricks and mortar dealer my expectation is that if something goes wrong, that the dealer will do whatever it takes to makes it right. In a few cases I've been disappointed, but the majority of the time the dealer does the right thing. Overtime, guess where I steer my business?
I have very little that I can add to the above comments except to stand firm with my fellow consumers....The companies that make this stuff supposedly make it to uncompromising standards. These components represent their cratsmanship and when they out their names on them they should stand by them through any wear throughout the time they certify them. Anything else simply represents a shameful way to avoid a debt of honor to us the consumer.
That said I note the gfrequent anecdotal reports like the above from the Cary user that shows that many of these manufacturers do care about their product albeit unofficially. By the way, does anyone know of a ferrari, lexus or any Ford warranty is transferable? Is a dishwasher?
I am not exactly sure what the warrantee policy of KRELL is for items purchased in 2001, but for ones prior to that they do honor the warrantee going (5 years) back to the original date of manufacture. Also they are a little soft on that time-frame.
I have always found KRELL to be more than fair ........ but, I hope that they will continue the policy above.
It's their money, their company and their reputation and it's up to them (the manufacturer's). More important to me is, that if I have a warranty, how the service is, if needed. I seem to have read a lot of horror stories about products under warranty. I have had excellent service (small things, but nonetheless) from Castle Acoustics (UK, binding posts), Bel Canto Designs (repair of a solder connection) and Studio Tech (some small parts for my equipment rack). Service for some of the other items that I own or have owned in the past has been no more pleasant than having a root canal. A piece of paper, though comforting, does not always tell the whole story. Because of this I value the comments of the users at this site. My two bits, anyway.
once again, this is a legal question wrapped in marketing considerations. there is no federal requirement for warrantors to transfer warranties to secondary, tertiary, etc. purchasers of any product, of which i'm aware. moreover, despite the urban myths to the contrary, there is no federal or state requirement for manufacturers to maintain an inventory of repair or replacement parts for any product for any period. if you are concerned about the transferability of warranties, make your inquiries when they count, before purchase. otherwise, expect warranties NOT to be transferable, which is frequently if not usually the case. -kelly
The manufacturer should back up their product regardless of who uses it at the time it requires service. When the unit is produced there is a serial number assigned to it, they know how old the unit is. By not supporting warranty claim to a secondary owner they are shirking their responsibilities and using a loophole to overcharge for repair work that really is caused by premature failure and morally should be repaired and returned with an apology. I consider this good business practice. Kelly is likely accurate in his response, BUT, it doesn't make it right nor should we as consumers accept it. This stuff costs too much to accept anything but top-notch service. Being in the semiconductor business for 18 years, if the part fails it's replaced immediately at no charge. A thorough failure analysis of the failed device is performed and a detailed report provided, at no cost to the customer. Why would we allow the integrators of integrated circuits (audio manufacturers) to offer anything less than the parts suppliers they deal with? Best, Jeff
I'm glad to see that someone mentioned Bryston, their 20 year tranferrable warranty is exemplary-- and I don't even own Bryston equipment. When I purchased two Levinson components used, their customer service rep. asked me to send him the serial numbers and he would transfer the remainder of the 5 yr. warranty to me-- I was impressed. I really like the transferrable warranty-- some offer it and some don't. It's just a business decision. Craig
Actually, transferrable warranty goes even one step further as it can "influence" your purchase decission.
Before I bought my Mark Levinson equipment I seriously considered a Krell 350MC or a 600 but after learning that the warranty can only be transferred by an authorized Krell dealer, but the equipment I was interested in was sold by a private person, I changed my mind and went with ML instead. I sure like that they honor the warranty and it was just a matter of providing the serial numbers.
To a smaller extend it might even backfire at the manufacturer as when purchasing new equipment you might already think about warranty transfer when you are ready to sell or upgrade.
For me it's important that the "used" equipment has a warranty as I fully agree with all of you that the warranty is with the equipment and not with the person buying it, thus, it should be honored by the manufacturer.
And regarding Bryston I just bought a used 10B-Sub x-over and still have 19! years of warranty left. They had no problem with the transfer either. What else could I ask for?!
Of course the warranty should be transferrable to the 2nd owner! I've been in the automotive business virtually all of my working life. When a customer purchases a new vehicle from us, the manufacturer gives a 36 month/36000 mile bumper to bumper warranty. Should the owner decide to sell it in a year, the 2nd owner receives the balance of the 36/36 warranty. If the 2nd owner sells, the 3rd owner receives the balance of the warranty. And so on...and so on...and so on... A smart company keeps track of the money spent on warranty repairs. In their yearly analysis of warranty dollars spent per model, they divide the cost out among all of the units sold and come up with the average money spent per model. The company then "includes" the average $ spent per model into the cost of purchase! The cost is generally passed on to the consumer in a higher priced product. It then does not matter how many owners the vehicle has. It still has warranty! If I were to purchase a used car...I would pick one that still had warranty on it as would probably most of you. Most of us hi end enthusiasts take great care of our equipment. Many car owners don't. Wise up manufacturers...it's a consumer driven market. Your product is more valuable if your warranty is transferable.
I am not generally an activist but nothing will happen unless we as a consumer group let the manufacturers know. If we pick bryston or levinson, maybe the manufacturers we are dissuaded from should know about it. I am unsure what else can be done but you would think that a bunch of avid audiophiles would be able to exert at least some pressure.
What about this?
The manufacturer sells product to a dealer, the dealer sells the equipment and showcases it in his test rooms. The dealer orders new product on a continuing basis and PAYS HIS INVOICE TO THE MANUFACTURER ON TIME. Products sold through the dealer are known to be new and working. These products are warranted by the manufacturer. The dealer takes in a 2 year old processor on trade from a customer ... he tests it and puts it on his rack for used gear. If something goes wrong, HE will decide if HE should take care of it or if he wants to ask the manufacturer to do something. He represents the manufacturer to the public and has a relationship with the manufacturer. Even if the unit is out of warranty, the manufacturer may make a repair for free based on the dealer's request, or the delaer may eat the repair in the interest of good consumer relations.
Vinny, haunts yard sales, pawn shops and estate sales buying up all the hi-end audio gear can find. Vinny's hi-end audio system at home is a Bose wave radio. He has a current, hi-dollar, product for sale on his web site for 60% of what a dealer wants for it new. After Vinny sells the product, does he call the manufactirer to order a new one for stock? Is he a qualified technician? Is the product known to be in good working order, never abused? If the product fails after nine months because it had hidden damage at the point of sale, who is responsible? Is Vinny able to resolve operational issues? Can Vinny make a quick fix to a minor problem? Vinny is probably not going to eat the repair, and probably has no relationship with the manufacturer. Vinny is no friend of the manufacturer.
When a manufacturer makes a warranty policy decision as we are discussing, it is a double edged sword. From a standpoint of brand image it is good to support transfered warranty. From a sales view, the dealer that places orders with your campany and pays his bill is the most important person in the world. A policy that encourages a person to buy from the dealer, new OR used, is the best policy for long term sales of new product. 'Double dipping' for repairs on 2nd owner product is not even a conversation ... there is so little money involved compared to new unit sales that it isn't a motivation. 'Double dipping' as some have phrased it, is a motivation to the consumer to buy new or used from the delaer that represents the manufacturer.
I'm sure to ruffle a few feathers ... this is just a reality in the world of business. Most decisions like this boil down to the bottom line. Remember, this is a hobby for us, a living for others.
In case you are wondering, I am VP of Operations at a medium sized sized manufacturing facility. We sell only to dealers, and hold them close as our most important non-tangable asset.
As always, I thank all who endure my soap box ramblings.
Extended warranties are a good example of how it is a matter of $$$$. If you are willing to pay more, what is basically an insurance company will guarantee the product for a longer period. I never buy the extended warranties. The very few items I have paid for repairs over the years is easily not more than what I would have paid in advance for an extended warranty.
BTW - Conrad Johnson does provide a transferable warrantee on their Premier products (at least for the 12 and 17LS) from the original owner to subsequent owners. There are a few conditions on this, but it appears as though they will honor the warrantee as long as they are notified of the transfer(s).