Stairlift Warranties & Maintenance Options
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If you’re buying a stairlift for either yourself or a loved one, you may want to know about warranties and maintenance options.
In this informative guide, we’ve put together detailed answers to some of the most frequently asked questions which we hope will be of help to you to make the decision quicker and easier.
The most important point to make here however is at Leodis, there’s no endless amount of small print to read through; it’s all extremely straightforward and easy to understand.
After 30 years of looking after thousands of our customers, we believe we know a thing or two about Stairlifts, both before and after you buy one! Read on for our FAQs.
What is a Stairlift Warranty?
A warranty provides parts and labour repairs cover if your Stairlift should develop a fault or worse, break down completely.
Basically, there are two types of warranties.
The first is the original manufacturer’s or supplier’s warranty when you first buy your Stairlift and the second is called an ‘Extended Warranty’ when this has expired.
So, let’s look at these separately:
If you’ve purchased a new or reconditioned Stairlift from a reputable local supplier or one of the leading brands (e.g. Acorn, Brooks, Handicare or Minivator), this will come with a standard warranty, which is typically two to three years.
New Stairlifts usually come with a two year warranty but some manufacturer’s offer up to three years on certain models.
This type of warranty is usually taken out when the original manufacturer’s or supplier’s original warranty has expired and may differ whether it’s a straight or curved Stairlift you have purchased.
Different suppliers offer varying lengths of extended warranties, from one year to some who offer up to four years cover, sometimes at a discounted rate. Our advice however would be to only look at this once your original warranty is getting close to expiring (and definitely NOT when you first purchase your Stairlift) and again annually, as you don’t know how long you may need it for.
So, in the case you’ve bought a reconditioned Straight Stairlift, this would normally be after 12 months and with a reconditioned Curved Stairlift after two years.
Again, the costs vary between suppliers but at Leodis, we charge £360 per year (or £30 per month) for a straight Stairlift and £550 per year (or £50 per month) for a curved model.
The higher cost for a curved stairlift is because they are more complex, have more expensive parts and generally take more time to repair.
It is very important to point out however that ALL warranties only cover for normal use of the Stairlift and breakdowns covered by user error, not using the Stairlift for what it was intended, foreign objects getting stuck or the usual Acts of God, such as lightning strikes, flooding or other such disasters, are not covered.
What is covered in a Stairlift Warranty?
Generally known as ‘Parts & Labour Cover’, this will cover you against the cost of an emergency call out by a highly trained engineer, any time spent carrying out repairs as well as the cost of any replacement parts needed following a mechanical breakdown of your Stairlift.
This includes the motor, gears, seat or track. However, it doesn’t allow for replacement batteries if the Stairlift has been left off its charging points or used when it is showing a fault so it is important that you contact your supplier the minute anything goes wrong as we can normally solve issues over the phone before they get any worse (or more expensive!)
Whilst the terms and conditions of warranties differ slightly between all suppliers, most also allow for an annual service to be carried out on your Stairlift to keep it operating perfectly and any worn parts replaced, as necessary.
Do I need to take out a Stairlift Warranty?
This very much depends on whether you are a person who likes to have peace of mind or one who is happy to take a (limited) amount of risk.
The benefit of having a warranty with any reputable supplier is both the guarantee of more prompt call out (as you a contracted customer) and that if your Stairlift does need repairing, there’ll be no nasty surprises when it comes to the cost, as some repairs can turn out to be expensive.
Just one example would be if the Overspeed Governor (the device that controls the speed when coming down the stairs) needed replacing, this typically costs £400 just for the part, never mind the labour or the call out charge.
However, it is always worth noting that you can still get your Stairlift repaired if it’s out of its original warranty – you can simply pay for a call out (typically around £100 depending on the time of day) and for whatever repairs or parts are needed at the time.
When do I need to take out a Stairlift Warranty?
There are some suppliers who will pressure you to take out the Extended Warranty when you first buy your Stairlift, by offering you a large discount.
However, at Leodis we don’t agree with this, as you certainly don’t need one until your original guarantee is coming to an end. So, keep hold of your money for now, there’s plenty of time to make that decision.
Is a Warranty a Maintenance Contract as well?
Most definitely not and please don’t get the two misunderstood.
A warranty as we have said is a guarantee that under ‘normal Stairlift use’, you won’t need to pay for the cost of any call outs, labour time to repair any fault or replacement parts.
We say under ‘normal use’ because any fault caused by improper use, user error or Act of God is rarely covered. This applies from when you first have your Stairlift installed and is covered by the manufacturer in the case of it being brand new or the supplier if it’s a reconditioned Stairlift.
Once that ‘original’ period has ended you may then wish to consider going for an extended warranty for total peace of mind.
A Maintenance Contract or Agreement provides a degree of cover that guarantees a call out within some specified time limit, which might be free of charge but any parts are extra. This may also include regular servicing for a monthly or annual cost. At Leodis we believe this is rarely required and that you could be paying more than you need to, so it’s not something we offer.
Taking everything into account, you will at some point have to make the decision as to whether it’s cost-effective to take out an Extended Warranty once your initial guarantee has expired.
In our experience, it’s certainly true to say that these days, Stairlifts are more reliable than they once were, but as newer technology gets introduced, models can become more complex and expensive to repair or replace so on balance we’d recommend our clients to have that security and extra peace of mind, but we understand it’s a personal decision.
At Leodis there’ll be no pressure whatsoever and we will respect your decision and give you the same old-fashioned, reliable and professional service, either way.