Get it wrong and your claim will be rejected
By Janice Salmon, JustPressOne
The most important field in a warranty claim is the purchase date.
This is the only informational logic, coupled with the service request date, that is used to determine if a product is within the warranty period and whether the service will be covered under warranty by the manufacturer. In addition, certain models have limited parts warranties and extended parts and/or labor warranties. Therefore, always check the model entitlement if it is available on the claims filing portal to verify the warranty period and calculate it using the following example as a guide.
A customer reports a product performance issue on Jan. 1, 2022, and the product was purchased on Jan. 10, 2021. Therefore, the product is still in the first-year warranty by 10 days. If there is an issue with the purchase date, the claim will be rejected and you will receive one of the following error messages:
- Missing purchase date
- Invalid purchase date
- Purchase date changed
- Out of warranty
- Purchase date too early
Two very important steps to take when a customer calls for repair service, or a manufacturer or third-party administrator requests service, are to first check their warranty entitlement and to then obtain a copy of the sales receipt or proof of purchase from the customer.
Understanding how to access the manufacturer’s warranty entitlement database to validate when the model was manufactured (the manufacturer issue date) or if the customer registered the product is very important. If the customer registered their product be sure the purchase date matches what is in the entitlement file and that it is dated after the manufacturer issue date.
Technicians take photos of the model/serial tag of the appliance when they are in the customers home; why not take a second picture of the sales receipt? With a copy of the sales receipt coupled with the matching model/serial from the tag, there is a very limited chance your claim will be rejected.
Better yet, when you sell an appliance, also automatically register it with the manufacturer on behalf of your customer. It takes just a few minutes and you will eliminate any issue with the purchase date for the next year should your customer requires service.
Please note: In ServiceBench, if the date that’s on record is a few days off from the date you specify as the purchase date on the claim, it will be rejected and the ServiceBench date will be substituted and highlighted in the purchase date field. If it’s within a few days of the date you entered, save it as a new claim and hit submit. Don’t change anything and it will pass the rule validation.
However, if the dates don’t match in ServicePower, your claim will be rejected and you will be unable to correct it. If your date is correct, you will need to attach a photo of the proof of purchase under “documents,” and also call or email the manufacturer with the proof of purchase attached, in order for the claim to be corrected and pass the rule validation.
Finally, while the purchase date is not as critical for claims under extended service contracts and home warranties as it is for OEM warranties, knowing the purchase date could help both parties decide if the unit is “worth” repairing. Also, with these type of service plans, always check with the payee before repairing the product, as the customer might not have enough value left in the contract to cover the required service.
Janice Salmon is the founder and CEO of JustPressOne, a business process outsourcing company and AVB partner that provides claims administration services for independent appliance servicers and self-servicing dealers. For more information visit JustPressOne.com.