San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
While warranty providers are all upbeat about their sales, when products break down will there be enough independent service centers to handle the repairs?
Whether companies have their own staffs, have independent dealers who handle service, or develop their own service networks with independents, warranty providers are confident they have enough support in place to do the job … for now.
"We expect the need for repair professionals to grow," said Jeff Oldenburg, marketing and business development VP of Service Net. "We're always looking to add quality repair professionals to our network, especially with new and emerging technologies."
Paul Swenson, VP of the Aon Warranty Group, said that while his company does not do repairs directly, its retailers "self-administer repairs with their own employees, while others use qualified third-party companies, or both." Aon counts on Whirlpool to handle its major appliance service. "We signed an agreement with Whirlpool in mid-2003 and they have provided us great service at good prices. Whirlpool's national appliance network services the top metro areas and secondary markets."
Frank Ferrara, marketing & ESC development VP for Assurant Group, said, "The Assurant/GE Alliance has given us access to the extraordinary service network owned and operated by GE. Assurant also manages an additional service network which covers the U.S. and Canada." Having both systems in place results in "an excellent end-user experience."
VAC Service's executive VP Brett Lassig said his company uses an in-house repair staff, retailer repair and independent service centers to meet repair needs. "We boast the industry's largest service network with more than 70,000 authorized repair centers throughout North America," he said. Maybe it is due to the size of VAC's network, but Lassig noted, "We do not notice any shortage of repair technicians in the U.S."