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Interesting Manufacturer Question

Posted By: hbiss

Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/29/06 08:31 PM

I installed a bunch of Atlite battery backup LED exit signs at a local church about 2 years ago. Recently four have failed because the transformer overheated. I called the manufacturer (Atlite is part of Cooper) and the first thing they asked was did I purchase them from HD or Lowes. No I didn't so they transferred me to a rep. Maybe they know something that I have been asserting all along, what you get at HD or Lowes may not be the same as what you get from the supply house.

-Hal
Posted By: Sandro

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/29/06 08:35 PM

I'd exploit this one. I too believe that the big box stores get inferior quality items. Stores with big buying power often pressure suppliers to lower costs which may mean cheapening some of the internals or sacrificing quality. Ever seen the quality of Home Depot cedar wood? Yeesh.

Call them again and say that you DID purchase from there, and see what they say.

With the quantities HD and Lowes must move all across north america, its possible that they want you to return to point of purchase.

[This message has been edited by Sandro (edited 09-29-2006).]
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/30/06 02:00 AM

I bet it is more like, if you bought it at the BORG, take it back to the BORG. They assume some of the warranty problems.
In real life, if you have the receipt they would give you your money back if it had a bullet hole in it.
Posted By: ExpressQuote

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/30/06 03:28 AM

HD, Lowes, Walmart...

Some of the best marketing companies in North America...

Generally the brand name products are the same as the supply houses... the manufacturers still have to meet the same UL and ULC or CSA standards, and I find it hard to believe that they would change the specs and affect the requirements of the standard to reduce prices for these marketing companies.

However, step into the Marketing Companies Private label brands... hmmm?

And on the topic of handling defective products, the marketing companies seem to have much easier return policies than most supply houses... Not that the supply houses don't take care of their customers, but it just seems a little easier at the big box marketing companies...


[This message has been edited by ExpressQuote (edited 09-29-2006).]
Posted By: stamcon

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/30/06 04:11 AM

I have heard that in exchange for better pricing, the big box stores are to deal with warranty issues themselves. I don't know if this true.


steve
Posted By: iwire

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/30/06 10:27 AM

Quote
I find it hard to believe that they would change the specs and affect the requirements of the standard to reduce prices for these marketing companies.


You don't have to effect the 'listing' by making it cheaper.

A listing is not at all a determination of a quality level.

I have no trouble believing that a retailer with the amount of volume that the big box stores have could get the manufactures to provide a cheaper product.

Those retailers beat the snot out of their suppliers.

But back to the OP, I believe it had to do with the warranty part of this.
Posted By: Almost Fried

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/30/06 03:23 PM

A lesser known fact about UL listings: It has nothing to do with quality, suitability for its intended purpose, nor will it even work. The Listing only means that the mfg. paid a huge amount of money to a for profit entity, which then bounces huge lightning bolts off the product to see if it will catch fire easily. The listing specifically states that it only means that it is safe to install on the wall of your house, not that it even functions well. Consumers Laboratories they ain't.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/30/06 03:38 PM

When the big boxes get a product that is not the same as your supplier (or even the exact same one with a cheaper retail price) they will put a different model number on it.
That makes the bookkeeping easier and it gives them an out when the guy pays more at his supply house.
Your supply house will seldom be able to match the price of a big box on identical products. The big box has less overhead per unit and the big box offers a lower level of service.
Posted By: iwire

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/30/06 03:53 PM

I agree Greg, this different model number game also allows a retailer to say things like.

"If you find 'it' for less anywhere in the galaxy we will give it to you for free"

You not going to find 'it' as it will have a different model number somewhere else.
Posted By: resqcapt19

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/30/06 04:01 PM

Quote
When the big boxes get a product that is not the same as your supplier (or even the exact same one with a cheaper retail price) they will put a different model number on it.

I am aware of consumer products where this is not the case. The two products carry the exact same model number information, but the product sold by the high volume store is not the same product. Steps were taken to make the product sold in the high volume store cheaper to manufacturer.
Don
Posted By: ShockMe77

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/30/06 05:48 PM

^^

Which is why I no longer buy power tools from the big orange store anymore no matter how good the price. I am a professional who needs professional tools. The big orange store also uses different model numbers for their tools, like cordless drivers and sawzalls.
Posted By: WESTUPLACE

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 09/30/06 09:45 PM

If you buy a Bosch dishwasher from Sears, Bosch will not service it, only Sears. They use different parts. Had a employee by a Bostich nail gun from the box store, had problems with it, took it to a Bostich service center, the service center said take it back where you bought it. He said, even though the model number was the same as their factory gun, they add a letter to the part number. He said the parts in the factory gun will not fit the big box gun. He took it to the big box store, after waiting 8 weeks for repairs, they called him and said that the model had been discontinued, and they would give him a prorated refund. So be very careful about buying tools from the big box stores.
Posted By: PEdoubleNIZZLE

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 10/01/06 12:12 AM

Chances are, if you took it back to Lowes and said you bought it there and it was defective, chances are they will take it back no questions asked (that is their policy) and since you wouldn't have a receipt, they'd give you amerch credit. When I worked at Lowes, we took back everything, even paint that was tinted to the exact color they needed, but they didn't want anymore.

Although morally, I would consider it stealing. However, chances are they'd send it back to the manufacturer or get a manufacturer credit and destroy it on site. In that case, I don't know where I stand morally, I'm on the fence.
Posted By: resqcapt19

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 10/01/06 01:16 AM

In the cases where there are two different products with the same specs and model numbers, I think that the CEOs of both the manufacturer and the store chain should be charged in criminal court with fraud.
Don
Posted By: Kenbo

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 10/01/06 02:17 PM

From my own personal experiance here in the UK I have found that some (not all) "big box stores" rebrand power tools. It was not unusual for the replacement parts from a brand name tool fit a shop brand and vice-verca.
This is not uncommon in the electrical appliance trade or even the auto trade.
Big company Merlonie own and produce machines under the names Indesit, hotpoint and creda to name just some.
Just like Volkswagon own the brands Audi,Seat and others. So the model numers are relevant.

Also I do not know how the "Consumer act" works in the US but here the law states that "all products must last a reasonble lenth of time"
" in England this is accepted to be 6 years and in Scotland 5 years" [Linked Image]
"the retailer is reponsible for this warrenty and your 1 year manufatures garentee is in addititon to you rights"

Hal - perhaps if you have something simmlier in the states this is why you were told to contact the retailer
Posted By: iwire

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 10/01/06 02:38 PM

Quote
In the cases where there are two different products with the same specs and model numbers, I think that the CEOs of both the manufacturer and the store chain should be charged in criminal court with fraud.


I can't see that as a possibility unless there was literature saying Model 1243 is constructed with certain features and those features are absent on the cheaper version of Model 1234.

It is for the reasons in this thread that I order my power tools through the shop, the price is about the same as the big box but I feel I have a better chance of getting a better product.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Interesting Manufacturer Question - 10/01/06 04:31 PM

At IBM one of my "other duties as assigned" was parts logistics and I spent a lot of time with parts. We would usually havew several different part numbers for exactly the same part. In some cases it might actually involve a better level of testing or a different stocking strategy for parts destined to different products but as often as not it was simply a price change. If they lowered or raised a part price it was easier to change the number of the new ones than to do the bookkeeping to adjust the price of all the parts in the parts stream.
One of the best kept secrets in the company was what "work" in an emergency. Usually a price change only was going to show up as a substitute part in the system but if it was a product related change it wouldn't "sub" even when the parts were identical.
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