WHY A WARRANTY?
How prevalent do you think warranties are today? Try typing the word “warranty” into a popular search engine. We did, and in less than a second over one and a quarter billion results were returned. Not only are we living in a culture driven by consumerism, but we are also living in a society of sophisticated consumers who expect sellers to guarantee the performance of the products they consume. Buyers have not always held sellers to such a standard.
In ancient Rome caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) was the principle that characterized most transactions. Even as early as 450 B.C., however, buyers and sellers could stipulate to a promise of quality in the goods being sold. Moreover, sharp practices by sellers of beasts of burden and cattle were so prevalent around the last century B.C. that Roman dealers were duty bound to disclose any defects that existed in the animals and could be held liable for damages for any later discovered, undisclosed defects.
In medieval times, particularly in France, Germany, and England, these warranties were replaced by governmental regulations. Products were required to conform to government-imposed standards of fitness and quality. By the eighteenth century, however, the English courts, whose common law is the basis for our American system of justice, began interpreting the merchants’ laws in a manner that tended to favor merchants over consumers. The liberalism of the era that influenced much of the western world emphasized individualism and self-reliance. English courts were reluctant to protect any buyer who was foolish enough not to ascertain the quality of the goods he purchased.
This sentiment took hold in the newly formed United States and prevailed until the early twentieth century, when the second industrial revolution transformed America from a sleepy, mostly agricultural society to an industrial juggernaut. Advances in steel, chemical and electrical production allowed American companies to mass produce consumer goods in ways and volumes that the world had never seen. The explosion in buying and selling resulted in more complaints about the quality of goods. State after state reacted by passing the Uniform Sales Act (the precursor of the Uniform Commercial Code), which made buyer friendly warranties far more common. Thereafter every state enacted consumer protection laws that apply to many different kinds of transactions.
Today Americans spend nearly 4 trillion dollars annually on durable goods and housing, and modern Americans expect the products they buy to perform as expected. This warranty mindset is reinforced daily by televised offers of “money back if you’re not completely satisfied” and written warranties on everything from batteries to baseball bats, from yachts to yo-yos, from ukuleles to…well…you get the idea. Modern consumers expect the makers of the goods they buy to stand behind their products.
The network news likes to paint these as divisive times in America. But one common desire runs through the hearts of most Americans, regardless of their political beliefs or socioeconomic condition. Most Americans want to own their own home, many of those Americans want to build their dream home, and all of those Americans expect their builders to stand behind and warrant the performance of those homes. And that’s where we come in.
At HOME, we know home warranties, and we should. HOME has been directed by the same owner since 1992, and along with our national affiliate Residential Warranty Company, LLC, our people have administered home warranties on over three million homes! We offer a wide variety of warranty options, from the standard ten-year warranty to our specialty warranties for remodeling projects and detached garages. HOME’s warranty mirrors Texas’ ten-year statute of repose and transfers the major structural defect obligation from our builders to HOME’s insurer in the final eight years of the warranty. HOME’s warranty provides clear performance standards that help create realistic expectations in your homeowners and a road map to resolving even the stickiest customer complaints.
HOME’s warranties are backed by a Texas property and casualty insurance company, and HOME and its affiliates are 100% American owned. HOME members are eligible to purchase General Liability, Builder’s Risk and Contractor’s Equipment coverages through the RWC Insurance Advantage program. Our pleasant customer service staff is dedicated to making your interactions with HOME as smooth as possible, and our veteran warranty resolution team will handle your customers’ concerns with care.
Your customers expect a warranty when they buy their homes from you, and your customers deserve nothing but the best! Give them the best. Give them a HOME warranty!
Have a great spring!