There are few things in the world of AV, or any industry for that matter, that equals the excitement level as warranties. Where else can you get lost in the levels of legal-ese and contract vocabulary. Nowhere will you have all your rights and requirements laid out in such a way as to require the killing of a small sapling to print the four to ten page tome that is the warranty for a given product. If the piece is in digital form, then forty or fifty megabytes gave up their lives so it could live on detailing why this or that problem is not under the protection of the manufacturer’s warranty.
However, every once in a while something remarkable comes about in the world of manufacturer’s warranties. This week was such a time. Specifically it was in the realm of advanced replacement and Crestron. Crestron announced this week that their previous time limit of 90 days for advanced replacement had been extended to a full year.
Before you shout me down, or turn to a more exciting website or this week’s AVWeek, let me explain why this news deserved a blog post. If you are unfamiliar with what an “advanced replacement” is, this is a procedure where you call the manufacturer and, after going through some troubleshooting steps, the tech support determines you have a defective piece of some sort. At this point a replacement piece is sent out to you. Once you receive the replacement you send back the defective one. Notice it is after you have received the replacement that you send back the one that doesn’t work.
For those of us who live on the front line of AV this is huge. Within the last six months I have needed to use this service. Once was an all-in-one box that was a control processor, amp, and video switcher. One of the ports had gone out within a month. Since this box ran the entire room, if it was taken out the room would be down. An unacceptable situation. Some may suggest that is why you have replacements in a backroom somewhere. Sometimes you don’t have budgets for that and sometimes you just hadn’t gotten there yet.
Back to the Crestron announcement. What this gives us as technology managers is an extra nine months to run a system through the circuit. Given only three months (90 days) before, you would try to throw everything you could at a system before it was out of this first line of warranty. There are certain events and loads a room only has during certain times of the year and that is difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate. With this entire year now under the umbrella of advanced replacement it gives us the freedom and security to try something a bit more ambitious than we might have. It is a bigger safety net, and that is never a bad thing.