When you buy a drill or any of the available drill accessories, one of the main considerations should be the level of customer service that you are going to get. This often gets confused with warranties and guarantees which are not the same thing.
Customer service from any of the tool companies should be as simple as having someone to speak with, if you encounter a problem. Once you do get in contact with them, then the next stage is to get a satisfactory response to the issue that you are having.
So essentially good customer service comes down to ease of contact, and the skill set of the brand representative that you are speaking with.
Understanding Customer Warranty on Power Drills
This is what can be offered on a product when you buy it. Typically it only covers parts and sometimes it will contain parts and the workmanship.
The legal definition is “A written guarantee, issued to the purchaser of an article by its manufacturer, promising to repair or replace it if necessary within a specified period of time.”
You can read more about warranties in this detailed article. The warranties from the many tool brands vary a lot so it is always worth reading the small print. Sadly not many people do before buying a power tool, and then they end up being disappointed with what is on offer.
Guarantees On Drills
This often gets confused with a warranty and they are indeed very similar. The official definition of a guarantee is “A formal promise or assurance (typically in writing) that certain conditions will be fulfilled, especially that a product will be repaired or replaced if not of a specified quality and durability.”
As you can see from this they do sound very similar, but they are not quite the same. For example a manufacturer could offer a standard 1 year warranty on parts and workmanship, but they could also offer an extended guarantee of 2 years.
It is a bit of a legal minefield, but you can find out more by reading my article on warranties and guarantees. For now we want to talk about customer service which is also important.
Improving the Warranty
The first thing you should do when you buy a drill or any power tool is to register it. Normally this is done online and is a simple process.
Most buyers get excited with the arrival of their new product and forget to do this. If you do it could cost you in the long term. It takes about 15-20 minutes to complete this process and then you are covered. Normally the brand also wants to get you to sign up to receiving emails.
You will always have the choice of not doing that, and yet still registering for the warranty or extended warranty.
Customer Service Explained
Drills are not that cheap and you have an expectation that when you buy one that it will work as requested and do the jobs that you need it to do. You also should expect that if you need some type of support that the company you purchase it from can be contacted easily. Some of them are very good at making this too difficult.
I am a firm believer in buying a good brand. This is not just because of the name though, it is because of the support that is available when you need it.
Most of us hope that we never need to go near customer service, but when something goes wrong we do want to be able to get in touch with them easily, either by phone or by email.
All the big brands who sell power tools like drills have a good reputation for customer service. These include brands like:
- Black & Decker
Always check out their websites and make sure they have customer services where you live. For example here is what is available on the Dewalt website:
“Questions about product service, repair, or replacement parts:
Service Centers: Is your product still under warranty? Find an authorized service center near you.
FAQs: Need to have a question answered now? Our FAQ database probably has your answer.
Phone: Call DEWALT customer service at 1-800-4-DEWALT
Customer Service: Access customer service via the Contact Us tab. (customer service).
Problems with this website: Find a mistake on the website, or having problems with your www.DEWALT.com membership (can’t remember your password or password question answer?) Send an e-mail to the webmaster.
DEWALT Industrial Tool Co.
701 E. Joppa Road
Baltimore, MD 21286
It is information like this that ensures you have great customer service.
Countries and states will have different customer protection legislation and also a number of organisations who can offer assistance. For example in the UK there is a “Sale of Goods Act” that offers protection for buyers under the law.
Like any legislation it is complex but the principles are basic. When you buy a product it needs to be “fit for purpose.” If it isn’t then you are entitled to a replacement or a refund under normal circumstances. It is a good idea to be aware of what your rights as a buyer is under your own law.
Buying In A Store
If you buy your drill in a store then that should be your first point of contact. They have an obligation to help you out. If they can not help you out then they can at least return it to the manufacturer on your behalf. Many stores will try to avoid this by telling you to contact the manufacturer.
That is not true and you should ask for a manager if this happens. If you buy a product from a store, it is their responsibility to sort it out for you.
There are many online shops you offer drills and accessories. Always check that they have terms and conditions on their website.
Companies like Amazon do have a very good customer service and resolve things pretty quickly. If you buy on eBay you should check out the status of the seller and make sure they have a good reputation. Read their reviews and make sure they have high satisfaction levels.
Bad Customer Service
In a lifetime there is little doubt that at some stage you will experience bad customer service. Waiting in long phone call queues as you are passed from one to the other is a typical problem encountered every day. The other big issue is finding someone to be responsible for your problem.
The better brands, and yes usually the more expensive tools, will almost always have a better customer service. They may not be perfect, but in most cases you will have a contact point, and will eventually get the problem resolved.
The bigger brands do not like bad publicity, and they will always try and avoid that.