Per NATM’s ISO 17020 Accreditation, NATM is to track all complaints regarding NATM and its members. The sources of these complaints include customers, members, non-members, and numerous other parties. Per NATM’s Strategic Plan, NATM staff members regularly identify the most frequent complaints received and create a plan of action to address the issues. NATM staff have determined one such frequent complaint is fixing issues that arise under the customer’s trailer warranty policy.
Warranty policies vary in their terms and coverage. Some trailer manufacturers require customers to bring the trailer to their headquarters to make warranty repairs. Other manufacturers have the ability to utilize their nearest branch location to assist customers with warranty repairs in a timely fashion. In other cases, shipping parts directly to the customer may rectify the warranty claim. Some manufacturers have even gone so far as to allow unaffiliated repair shops to make the repairs and have reimbursed customers.
NATM has received many complaints that manufacturer’s warranty policies only provide warranty claim repairs at the manufacturer’s headquarters. With trailers being sold in a global market, many consumers have noted they reside or have purchased their trailers hundreds, if not thousands, of miles from the trailer manufacturer’s headquarters. These customers note that the cost of transporting their trailer to the manufacturer is both cost and time prohibitive. Further, many of these individuals use the affected trailer for their businesses and the loss of income during travel is not desirable.
These customer complaints fall outside the scope of NATM’s Compliance Verification Program. However, in an effort to help NATM members understand customer needs and assist in attracting and retaining satisfied consumers, NATM asks that manufacturers consider alternative options for addressing similar warranty concerns. In the interest of promoting trailer safety and customer satisfaction in an increasingly global marketplace, manufacturers may find it beneficial to revisit their warranty policies with their business managers and legal counsel.
The following NATM Member companies can be utilized to develop or improve your company's warranty programs:
BB&T-Pruden Insurance Services
Clay H. Chambless
ServiceGuard Systems, Inc. dba TrailerGuard
Trailer Makers Insurance