SEAGATE is working on changes to the way warranty work is done in New Zealand but has not settled on a method or implementation date.
Singapore-based regional director Robert Yang says one option is for a third party instead of the three distributors do the work, which the vendor has done in India. A second scenario is to enable distributors to do warranty work on product sold by another at no charge to the customer.
Customers currently pay a service charge if they take a faulty item to a different distributor from which they purchased the product.
But the second option is not popular with the local channel. Ingram Micro and Datastor told Reseller News in January that Seagate will have to reimburse them for the work, given distributors’ different skills and stock holding.
Ingram Micro managing director John Dunbar stands by this stance.
“There would have to be some sort of reciprocal arrangement [between distributors]. Otherwise the good one who did the [warranty] well would end up with all the costs. Every distributor would love it if someone did the warranty for them.”
Yang says there is “nothing wrong” with the New Zealand warranty system but Seagate is looking to improve customer service as part of a worldwide channel review, which started last year and is due to end in June. Items under the spotlight include product and warranty turnaround times.
“I want to try to standardise our level of services. It shouldn’t matter that I return the product to Ingram [Micro], VST or Datastor. But I can’t really put a time on it because it is still on going. A lot of the questions, we need to work out.”
Dunbar says the local model works well.
“We’ve not had any complaints from customers that there needs to be a change.”