Guarantee or Warranty…April 24th 2015
Don’t you just love word’s? ....a subtle change of change of one word in a contract and you can change the whole meaning of what’s being offered…my wife changed ‘love honour and obey’ to ‘abuse and do what I want’…
So what’s the difference between a guarantee (formal assurance that a product or service will meet certain standards) and a warranty ( a promise that certain actions will take place)? Same thing? Or is it something more subtle that’s going on here?
If a Japanese Knotweed contractor says... ‘we offer an insurance backed guarantee’ ...what is it they are actually guaranteeing? Is the inference that they are ‘guaranteeing’ that you will never get any knotweed re-growth? Are they suggesting that you will get a big pay out from an insurance company if you get any signs of new plants? ...I would suggest that that’s the thought that they are trying to ‘implant*’ in your head.
If someone is trying to say they ‘guarantee’ you won’t get any re-growth...that’s a pretty big statement to make...given that the bulk of the plant is beneath the ground and you can’t see what it is you are dealing with.
Some of the more experienced Japanese knotweed contractors (or the ‘10+ crew’ as I like to call them – indicating ten years or more dealing with this troublesome plant) – can look at a stand of Knotweed and pretty much know how long it’s been there and how much rhizome and root system lies beneath the ground. It’s not an exact science but years of experience will give you a pretty accurate idea of what’s likely to be happening beneath the soil surface.
Some of the less experience contractors (or ‘Proper C*** A***’ members as I like to call them) haven’t got a clue that Japanese Knotweed has a root and rhizome system and probably couldn’t tell you the difference between a ‘root’ and a ‘rhizome’ if you beat them round the head with one...
So ‘guaranteeing’ that you have removed ALL of the plant material or chemically treated ALL of the plant growth is a pretty big statement to make – or... a ‘lie’.
What you can do, is provide a ‘warranty’, this means is that you will go back and check... you will go back and check for 5 years/10 years/20 years or whatever your little heart (or mortgage provider) wishes.
What the provision of a warranty suggests is a continued relationship with the site in that somebody will be re-visiting and checking for signs of new growth.
We at JKSL ‘guarantee’ that we will come back and monitor your site under our ‘warranty’ conditions. Maybe a subtle play on words you might suggest – but all of the team are advised never to guarantee that Japanese Knotweed won’t ever re-appear. We can be pretty damn sure we have done everything possible to mitigate against re-growth... but we can’t 100% guarantee that some tiny piece has slipped through the ‘net’.
We are the ONLY company currently operating in the UK to have two FULL TIME teams doing NOTHING BUT re-visits... we have over 2980 sites being managed under warranty – these vary from Mr and Mrs Smith* at 14 Acacia avenue (made up name due to data protection)to a stretch of a river in Ireland that is 28 miles long...
So when we say that we can ‘guarantee your site being visited under warranty’ we mean what we say...
PS if your chosen contractor is offering a ‘5 million pound insurance backed guarantee that covers damage to hard surfaces’ – they ARE lying. They refer to Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance which will NOT cover you for any accidental re-growth on site. PI covers professional advice – not ground works – and would only pay out if ‘advice given were proven to be negligent’. No definition of re-growth could be deemed negligent advice – thus you won’t be getting your 5 million quid ... sorry ... it’s a con.
*Implant - subtle play on words