Gate Opener warranties: The brands, the processes, and who pays for what

One of the issues that can come up when installing a gate opener yourself is having to fulfill a warranty. Below we have outlined each gate opener brand’s process for warranty fulfillment. We want our customers to be fully aware, when you are purchasing a particular brand, there are considerations past the features of the product that need to be made and warranty process is probably one of the most important ones.

Liftmaster:

Liftmaster Warranty Summary:

Pros: We have not experienced Liftmaster denying many warranties (some other manufacturers declare user error or natural forces causing issue much more frequently than Liftmaster)

Cons: It is a long process because they are insistent that there are a minimum of 3 parties involved. Also the lack of flexibility on Liftmaster to talk to home owners directly or cover inbound transportation costs for warranties adds a potential expense that is a pure crap shoot on if you are going to have to incur this or not on a Liftmaster purchase.

Liftmaster Warranty Process:

Liftmaster has a warranty that must be fulfilled through the manufacturer with the assistance of an installer and dealer with technical knowledge.

1(A). Call from the gate to your dealer you purchased from and troubleshoot to the point that the dealer can understand and answer any questions Liftmaster staff may have about what is happening. This is why it is important to have purchased from GateCrafters.com. Big box companies or non-specialized retailers cannot do this AND most importantly, Liftmaster techs will not speak directly to home owners. They will inform you to hire an installer (see 1(B)) and have them call to get the warranty filled.

1(B). The other option is to have a Liftmaster approved installer call directly to the Liftmaster techs from the gate.

2. In either case the Liftmaster tech will provide the caller a Reference Number. The reference number is to be provided to the Liftmaster dealer from which the product was purchased. One the dealer has the reference number they will call back into Liftmaster technicians and receive a RMA number.

3(A). After you receive the RMA number from the dealer you can send the product in to Liftmaster for warranty. Liftmaster does not cover any shipping charges on warranty items, including on dead out of box items. When the product is received by Liftmaster they will take on average about 2 weeks to process it. They will send the warranty fixed or replaced product to your dealer and then your dealer will return it to you.

3(B). Another option is advanced replacement. However this method was designed by Liftmaster for the dealers and from the dealers for installers with revolving credit accounts that are due in 30 days. After you receive the RMA number and you can request advanced replacement. Liftmaster will ship the replacement item to the dealer and send the dealer an Invoice that is due in 30 days. They can also ship directly to the installer or home owner for a 25% of the replacement part cost fee (this part is non-refundable). The dealer will receive the replacement part and issue an invoice to the installer for payment in 30 days (if a credit line has been established) or charge the installer or customers credit card for the replacement part. They will then ship the part to the customer. GateCrafters.com covers the shipping of the advance replacement part being shipped ground from us to our customer, other dealers may charge shipping, that is up to the dealer. The customer will write the RMA number on the outside of the package and ship at their expense the defective part to Liftmaster. Once Liftmaster processes the warranty they will issue a credit offsetting the Invoice for the advance replacement to the dealer and the dealer will do the same, issuing a credit to offset the invoice to the installer with a credit account or they will refund the credit card that was charged for the replacement part.

 

Estate Swing:

Estate Swing Warranty Summary:

Pros: Estate Swing very rarely denies a warranty, even for known user error during install. Their main interest is finding out want happened and correcting the issue so it doesn’t happen again. Shipping costs are covered by the manufacturer. They also allow dealers to handle the warranty directly with the customer and talk to them on the back end. They don’t require direct contact to fulfill warranties.

Cons: Because they are a company that specializes in DIY home owner installation they will not accept the reasoning of “because I’m a professional with years of experience and I know it is defective” to skip the troubleshooting/picture process. Troubleshooting notes and pictures have to be done and turned in by dealers as part of the warranty process to get credit from the factory, no exceptions.

Estate Swing Warranty Process:

1. The home owner should call into the dealer techs or Estate Swing techs from the gate. They should have some basic tools such as a multi-meter, small screw driver and small amount of wire to make a connection with. After troubleshooting and warranty is determined the tech will request pictures of the installation to be emailed. The tech will reply to the email with a RMA number and warranty instructions.

2(A). The customer can send in the part and include the receipt for any ground shipping charges (UPS ground, Fed Ex ground or USPS mail) for reimbursement. Once the part is received, tested and repair or replaced it will be shipped back to the customer. This typically take about 1 week.

2(B). Advanced replacement is available through the dealers for most warranties. When the RMA number is received the customer can call into the dealer and use a charge on their credit card as a guarantee of return of the defective part. The dealer will charge the price of the part and ship the part. Then the customer will return the defective part to the dealer and after it is processed the customer will have a refund of that amount on their credit card. The shipping to the customer is covered by the dealer. The return shipping of the defective part can be covered if a receipt is included for the cost with the shipment. One thing to note, advanced replacements are readily available for control boards, receivers, things of that nature. However for motors that have been in the field for a while they will be replaced in advance with refurbished motors; if there are no refurbished motors available and advance replacement is necessary for your application they will allow replacement with a new actuator if the difference in price between refurbished and new is paid (the entire price of a new arm will be charged but when the refund is done it will only be in the amount of a refurbished motor).

 

Apollo / NICE:

Apollo/NICE Warranty Summary:

Pros: Homeowners can work directly with the Apollo/NICE technicians on trouble shooting. Apollo tries to solve issues rather than just replace parts, for example we have seen where a customer is replacing an 835 board under warranty and they replace it with a 1050 board because they believe it is a better fit for the application.

Cons: The dealer AND the manufacturer still must be involved. However the dealers role in this process since the home owner can troubleshoot direct can be limited to obtaining the RMA through a quick phone call. Apollo / NICE does not cover any inbound shipping charges of defective goods.

 

Apollo / NICE Warranty Process:

Apollo / NICE has a warranty that must be fulfilled through the manufacturer with the assistance of the dealer for the processing.

1. The home owner should call into Apollo / NICE techs from the gate. They should have some basic tools such as a multi-meter, small screw driver and small amount of wire to make a connection with. After troubleshooting and warranty is determined the tech will ask the caller to get in touch with their dealer they purchased from to obtain a RMA. Make sure this is done ASAP and remember to give the name of the technician worked with at Apollo / NICE. If you wait too many days the tech may need to get back in touch with you to go over some of the details.

2. The dealer will call Apollo and obtain a RMA number. The dealer will provide this RMA number to the customer.

3(A). After you receive the RMA number from the dealer you can send the product in to Apollo / NICE for warranty. Apollo / NICE does not cover any shipping charges on warranty items, including on dead out of box items. When the product is received by Apollo / NICE they will take on average about 1 week to process it. They will send the warranty fixed or replaced product to your dealer and then your dealer will return it to you.

3(B). Another option is advanced replacement. However this method was designed by Apollo / NICE for the dealers and from the dealers for installers with revolving credit accounts that are due in 30 days. After you receive the RMA number and you can request advanced replacement. Apollo / NICE will ship the replacement item to the dealer and send the dealer an Invoice that is due in 30 days. They can also ship directly to the installer or home owner (there is normally a fee associated with this, so proper warranty documentation must be established first to have fee waved). The dealer will receive the replacement part and issue an invoice to the installer for payment in 30 days (if a credit line has been established) or charge the installer or home owner’s credit card for the replacement part. They will then ship the part to the customer. GateCrafters.com covers the shipping of the advance replacement part being shipped ground from us to our customer, other dealers may charge shipping, that is up to the dealer. The customer will write the RMA number on the outside of the package and ship at their expense the defective part to Apollo / NICE. Once Apollo / NICE processes the warranty they will issue a credit offsetting the Invoice for the advance replacement to the dealer and the dealer will do the same, issuing a credit to offset the invoice to the installer with a credit account or they will refund the credit card that was charged for the replacement part.

 

GTO/PRO and Mighty Mule (same company):

GTO/PRO and Mighty Mule Warranty Summary:

Pros: Home owners deal directly with the manufacturer. They handle all their warranties directly and do not ask or want the distributor or retailer to be involved.

Cons: They are strict on what will be covered under warranty. If there is a lightening or a surge they will not cover the product. Also the time frames for getting a technician on the phone can take longer during the summer season. Inbound shipping is not covered. No advanced replacement program so you have to wait for the fulfillment of the warranty.

GTO/PRO and Mighty Mule Warranty Process:

1. Call Mighty Mule from the gate and troubleshoot with their technicians. Once they determine what is defective they will ask you for your purchase information so if you believe something is going to returned it is best to have your receipt ready when you call. They will give you a RGA#.

2. Ship the product to Mighty Mule with the RGA on the outside of the box and the receipt from purchase on the inside of the box. Shipping is not covered or reimbursed by Mighty Mule.

3. Mighty Mule will determine if under warranty or not. If covered they will repair and send back. If it is not covered they will reply to you with a quote for repair.

Sentry / US Automatic:

Sentry / US Automatic Summary:

Pros: Home owners deal directly with the manufacturer. They handle all their warranties directly and do not require the distributor to be involved. Distributors can be involved by choice to acquire an advanced replacement.

Cons: Inbound shipping is not covered. Troubleshooting with the manufacturer is required and they are in during the week days.

Sentry / US Automatic Warranty Process:

1. The home owner should call into Sentry / US Automatic techs from the gate. They should have some basic tools such as a multi-meter, small screw driver and small amount of wire to make a connection with. After troubleshooting and warranty is determined the tech will provide the customer with an RA#.

2(A). After you receive the RA number from you can send the product in to Sentry / US Automatic for warranty. Sentry / US Automatic does not cover any shipping charges on warranty items, including on dead out of box items. When the product is received by Sentry / US Automatic they will take on average about 1 week to process it. They will send the warranty fixed or replaced product directly to you.

2(B). Another option is advanced replacement. However this done through the dealer if the dealer chooses to offer this. GateCrafters.com will offer this for their customers on Sentry and US Automatic products. After you receive the RA number and you can call and request advanced replacement from the dealer. The dealer will process the order like it is a new sale of the product by charging the home owner’s credit card for the replacement part. They will notate that a return should be coming from US Automatic and upon receipt of the warranty replacement at the dealer the charge to the credit card charge for the product (product only) will be refunded. The customer will write the RA number on the outside of the package and ship at their expense the defective part to Sentry / US Automatic. The customer should make sure to notate that they want the warranted part to go to the dealer and not back to the customer.  Once Sentry / US Automatic processes the warranty they will ship the part to the dealer and the dealer will refund the credit card that was charged for the replacement part.

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