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Office Furniture Warranties: How Worried Should You Be?

January 15, 2018 / by Tommy Twardowski

When you invest in quality office furniture, you undoubtedly expect it to serve you well for years to come – perhaps even decades. Most consumers don’t think much about the finer points of the warranties on their office furniture purchases. Savvy professionals overseeing the purchase of expensive office furniture to outfit a large office often do take warranties into consideration before making a purchase or having their furniture installed or serviced. That’s smart, considering that a large office furniture purchase can easily exceed tens of thousands of dollars. However, before considering a warranty at face value, it’s also smart to read between the lines and interpret it with a healthy dose of skepticism.After all, there is enough to worry about with an office furniture installation, do you really need to be worried about the warranty as well? If you need help getting started - Our FREE office installation checklist is a great place to start. 

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Office Furniture Warranties: Much in Common With New Car Warranties

After you purchase new office furniture, that furniture must be delivered and installed. The main sticking point with office furniture warranties is similar to the sticking point with automotive warranties. Many consumers assume that if they purchase a new car from a dealership, they must have that car serviced at the dealership, because having it serviced by an independent auto repair technician will void the warranty. The truth is, that is completely false!

According to the Federal Trade Commission, it is illegal for a car dealer to deny a warranty because a car owner had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else. This misconception persists because car dealers have no reason to educate consumers – if consumers erroneously believe they must have their car serviced by the dealership, the dealership will make more money!

While there is no law stating that furniture dealers must honor warranties after an independent company installs or repairs their items, most furniture manufacturers do leave the door open for independent work. The bottom line? Read your warranty carefully and don’t assume you must use dealer installation personnel.

An Exception to the Status Quo

While most furniture dealers are reasonable and understand their customers may prefer to use an independent office furniture installer, there is one notable exception you should be aware of: Herman Miller. According to Herman Miller’s warranty:

"Any product, part, or component must have been used according to Herman Miller’s published instructions and installed and maintained by a Herman Miller factory-trained technician or authorized Herman Miller dealer installer." Additionally, Herman Miller has significantly cut its warranty from “lifetime” to five years or less, depending on the item.

Nemschoff, a Herman Miller company, does not specify that work must be performed by the dealer. Instead, it honors warranties as long as buyers furnish accurate data and “products [have been] properly installed and maintained.” Nemschoff has also moved away from lifetime warranties to warranties of 12 years or less, depending on the item.

Key Takeaways Regarding Office Furniture Warranties

With its incredibly restrictive warranty policies, is it in your best interest to do business with Herman Miller? Other companies recognize the value of independent installation alternatives and encourage their customers to consider all of their options and choose the one they’re most comfortable with.

Many companies will weigh their options and conclude that independent installers are less expensive. That may not come as a huge surprise. What probably will surprise you is that independent installers often are more qualified than dealership installers! Many dealer installation personnel are contract workers and have never attended manufacturer training.

Don’t Hesitate to Choose HIS!

For more than 30 years, Houston Installation Services (HIS) has been installing office furniture from a myriad manufacturers. In all that time, HIS has never had a claim of damage to a customer’s furniture! Just to be certain our customers are 100% comfortable using us rather than a dealer installer, HIS warrants our installation from damaging customers’ products. In other words, if we ever do damage a product, we will pay to have it replaced. And that warranty is valid for two full years from the date of installation!

Clearly, there is no reason not to trust HIS with all of your office furniture installation needs. HIS will charge you significantly less than a dealer would. HIS will provide skilled, experienced, well-trained technicians, and HIS will gives you the peace of mind that should an item become damaged, we will buy you a new one! Call us today!

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Topics: Office Furniture, Facility Managers

About The Author

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy Twardowski

Tommy began his career in the office furniture installation business in 1978 and started his full-time career in 1981 with Houston Installation Services. Starting as a furniture installer, he developed a passion for the process of installation and learned to install all major manufacturers’ lines.