“I don’t believe it; they refuse to give me a warranty replacement for my dead battery but instead tell me they are giving me a policy claim. I don’t even know what a policy claim is!”

Many customers do not understand what the difference between a warranty claim and a policy claim is, which can lead to confusion and frustration, both for the customer and the sales consultant.

The warranty claim

Whenever a customer purchases a battery, there will be a warranty claim that will be honoured should a battery fail within the warranty period.   The warranty claim will be honoured based on proof that the battery failure was due to a factory fault.  It is important to note that negligence in battery handling and care on the part of the customer will not be honoured.

Each warranty claim is taken seriously, and Probe has a dedicated claims department that analyses each warranty battery returned.   Once confirmations are made, a warranty claim is awarded to the customer. Another important point to note is that the newly provided ‘warranty battery’, in other words the new battery that has replaced the damaged or faulty battery, will only have the remaining warranty period from the date of purchase of the original battery.

The warranty claim is an arrangement that is satisfactory to all parties concerned and there are seldom issues.   Except when the claims and quality control department begin stating that the battery does not meet the requirements to honour the warranty claim.

The policy claim

Certain cases occur when a customer returns a dead battery and after the quality department have checked the battery they may reach the conclusion that the warranty claim cannot be honoured. In this instance a management decision might be taken to award the customer with a policy claim instead, which is a replacement battery for the dead battery.  

A policy claim makes it possible to provide a replacement battery to the customer, albeit with no warranty claim included.  The reason why a policy claim comes with no warranty is that the policy claim battery being issued to customer from a policy point of view is does not carry a warranty.   

Under normal circumstances, the customer would not have received a replacement for the battery due to a dishonoured warranty claim, but in certain instances the company decides in good faith to ‘take the financial knock’ and award a policy claim due to the business relationship.

The reasons for not honouring the warranty claim

The problem arises when customers fail to realise that even when the battery is within the warranty period, should it have failed due to faults other than factory faults, the battery cannot be replaced. 

Examples of faults not honoured under the warranty claim include over charging, damage of terminals, damaged casings, faulty alternators, and use of wrong charging specifications amongst others.

Thus, the customer should count themselves fortunate that, after consideration, management agrees to issue a policy.

Retailers have to avoid the following in order to assist customers in the understanding of the warranty claim:

1. When a retail  customer receives a dead battery, they have to avoid giving the customer a warranty replacement before the quality team has checked the battery to ensure it meets the warranty criteria.
2. When a policy claim is issued, the retailer must be very clear with the customer that the policy claim comes with no warranty and has only been provided as an act of good faith.

Ensuring happy customers

Probe has a continued commitment to provide the best, quality-ensured, truly sealed fit-and-forget battery products.  However, there will be times when a customer’s warranty claim is not honoured, and which means that the customer should be fully aware of proper battery handling and care. 

The policy claim is a gesture of good faith, because satisfied and loyal customers form the backbone of what we do.   However, it is important to note that there are only a limited amount of policy claims per year that can be given.