Stryker recently published a letter explaining service life for their stretchers & other equipment. As a premise for warranties & return policies, service life is the expected duration of optimal performance, integrity & safety of a given piece of equipment. Once expired, the product is not guaranteed.
But is it really that simple?
Although one can see the wisdom in limiting warranties & guarantees to a specific time, contributors to integrity, safety & performance failure are not consistent. Each stretcher, no matter how similar, can experience different types of wear & tear, not to mention more or less use. Depending on each stretcher’s circumstances, the duration of optimal performance & safety can either be extended or limited.
Is it really that simple?
» Notice Wars
This brings us to the notices issued by Stryker & Ferno. Stryker, as mentioned above, is concerning itself with warranties, return policies, &, to be frank, lawsuits & bottom line sales. To be sure, this is a responsible move on their part. Ferno, however, seems to be taking an approach focused more on customer relationships. In their notice, they note the complexity & variety of contributions to service life & indicate that it would be impossible to determine for any given piece of equipment. They instead stress the importance of diligence in regularly maintaining & evaluating the performance & safety of each piece of equipment. They also make available the service of technical representatives to help address any concerns in this matter.
Stryker notes an FDA requirement to notify customers of the product’s service life. According to our research, The FDA requires notification of a service life only in order for a manufacturer to wash their hands clean from liability after a certain time. Instead of such a service life, Ferno is standing by their product in a much more customer-friendly way. They’re accepting responsibility for a failure in safety & performance provided the product was maintained & used properly and provided there are available official manufacturer parts.
All in all, Ferno seems to be more understanding & open in backing up their products. It seems that they also understand the economic situation their customers currently find themselves in. More & more emergency response companies are demanding more performance & longer service from their vehicles & equipment due, no doubt, to the bad economy. Ferno’s policy allows for longer use of existing equipment assuming proper use & maintenance.
Whether this is a game changer is ultimately up to you.
Please let us know what you think about Ferno’s or Stryker’s service life policies, or about service life in general.