November 4

I don’t usually buy warrantees so why is this different?

Warrantees are frequently available for numerous “big ticket items” we buy, such as cars, electronics, and even houses. As new purchases, the manufacturers or providers want to provide assurance that the product is of sufficiently high quality, that the buyer can have confidence in a trouble-free ownership experience for a specific period of time.

Let’s explore why warrantees are important to both the manufacturer/provider of the product as well as to the owner.

#1. Brand Enhancement – to sustain the image of the manufacturer, many provide a warranty to promote goodwill, and increase the price point from a marketing perspective. The goal of the manufacturer is to differentiate its product from the competition.

In the case of a water well, in this region, no one offers a warranty on the day the well is completed, principally because the well driller has no means of evaluating the sustainability of the water supply. While most reputable well pump/equipment manufacturers provide limited warranties on their products for a limited period, they are not responsible for the myriad reasons why wells fail beyond normal wear and tear of the product they warrant. Thus, the homeowner can find himself “on the hook” for a substantial repair to his well system.

#2. Known Cost to Replace -when I purchase an item with the warranty, I know what the value of the warranty is, since I have just bought the product that is subject to the warranty. In the case of Water wells, the cost to install a replacement well bears no relationship to the cost of the initial well. “Why?” There are myriad reasons, perhaps the most important of which is that, for example, a 200 foot deep well may need to be replaced with a 400 foot deep well, thereby doubling the cost of the drilling component of the entire replacement well. While wells are mysteriously wonderful and reliable facilities, no one can tell you the cost of replacement well until it is completed.

#3. Ease of Replacement – When you purchase an item with the warranty, you usually visit several stores or Internet site where these items are available. Thus, replacement of a defective item is relatively easy. I consider this ease of replacement when I make the purchase, along with the quality of the brand, in many instances I don’t feel a needs for the warranty.

In the case of a water well failure, there is often no easy way to get the problem rectified. First is the challenge of locating a licensed, certified professional who has time and interest in solving my immediate and severe problem. Since to the service professional I am generally an unknown, once-in-a-lifetime customer, I am not likely going to be high on his service schedule. I could be out of water for days or longer before even simple problems to be fixed.

#4. Suitable Substitute Alternatives – When considering purchasing an item with a warranty, it is typically easy to replace the exact model that we purchased in the first place. Even if there is a delay in delivery, or if the exact model is longer available, it usually does not result in a serious hardship.

In the case of my water well, on which every family member is dependent for bathing, drinking, and other routine household needs, we are wholly dependent on 100% reliability of this system. I have no suitable alternative since the well is the only source that I have for my family.

For the reasons above, many of us don’t generally buy warranties. In the case of my water well, a I have no name brand on which to depend, I don’t know with any certainty the cost of replacement, I know it will be a major hassle going through the process of repairing or replacing the well, and I certainly do don’t want to go for more than a few hours without water. As a result, while I generally don’t buy warranties, my well system warranty responds to my concerns about my family’s water supply.


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