The Hidden Costs of Buying Power Tools
Following on from my blog earlier this year about ‘the trials and tribulations of extended power tool warranties’, it got me thinking about how the whole process could be made so much easier for both customers and the power tool dealer. This led us to launch our #BestValueNoMessin Power Tool Package on 1st July 2016, where all tools purchased from Protrade at the stated offer price, are supported by extraordinary service levels. The idea behind the offering is to take all the hassle and hidden costs away from our customers when problems arise, which they invariably will at some point in the life of the tool.
#BestValueNoMessin tools purchased from Protrade come with a three year warranty as standard across all components. In many cases, this warranty period is longer than the standard terms offered by the manufacturers – eg. Milwaukee offer three years on the tools, but only one year on the charger and two on the batteries. Our offering is three years warranty on everything and if something is going to fail, it will most likely be in the final year. This unprecedented warranty cover applies to all key power brands we supply, excluding Makita, and there is no need to register the warranty. Knowing that when warranty registration is left to users, less than half get recorded and it’s actually closer to 80% that are not registered with some brands! This means that the majority of tools end up with only the standard one year warranty, whereas all #BestValueNoMessin power tools from Protrade not only come with longer warranty periods, but their registration is guaranteed.
Roll forward a year or so when the tool fails; now what? The serial number of the power tool is also logged on our advanced in-house computer system, so we can quickly and easily recall all purchase details and warranty documents. Customers no longer need to dig out old invoices or paperwork, we have all the information required at our fingertips. We are also planning to have this facility available on our website, so customers can simply recall the information themselves. At this point, they can make an informed decision as to whether a repair to the faulty tool is worth pursuing or not. The amount of time and money saved is significant, not to mention stress and aggravation averted. Recording serial numbers internally also improves security of the tools – we know exactly who purchased what tool. As one of the few remaining tool companies with service facilities, should a lost or stolen tool be booked in, we can easily track it back to the rightful owner.
It doesn’t end there; both fiscal and time savings continue for the life of the power tool. All #BestValueNoMessin tools have priority service status, where turnaround times are at least three times faster. All carriage charges for genuine warranty repairs are waived and labour rates for any repairs of tools that are not covered by warranty are reduced. There is also a replacement option where a hire tool is offered at a nominal rate from just £2 per day, whilst warranty tools are being repaired, enabling users to get on with the job.
The obvious question now is – “OK – great service offering, but how much extra does it cost me”? The short answer to this is ‘absolutely nothing’. Although there has been significant investment from us in terms of information technology, labour, extended warranty cover and subsidised additional costs, all power tools purchased at our stated offer price, whether purchased from a depot or online, are covered by the #BestValueNoMessin Power Tool Support Package as standard. Of course we get smart phones pointed in our direction showing lower prices on tools, that on the face of it, look identical to our offering. The analogy I use here is comparing two holidays – one is flights and accommodation only; the other also includes transfers, meals, snacks, drinks, water sports etc. They are both holidays and possibly to the same resort, but the first is ‘pay as you go’ whereas the second is ‘all-inclusive’. The first has a lower initial price whereas the second ends up costing much less. The same applies to power tools; they have moving parts and will fail at some stage of their life. When the time comes, it’s either time consuming and money absorbing aggro or simply put – dead easy!