The other day I read a couple of very strong endorsements for Paslode’s new free 2-year no-questions-asked service promise, and it led me to do some thinking.
1. Who is still buying Paslode nailers?
2. What’s the catch?
There are several very impressive cordless nailers currently available, such as Ryobi’s Airstrike brad nailer and Senco’s Fusion nailer, and Dewalt’s brushless framing nailer will soon be available in the US.
So why mess around with consumable fuel cell cartridges if you can help it? To be fair, I don’t drive hundreds or even dozens of nails each day. But even if I needed to, I would sooner work with a compressor and air hose than mess around with fuel cells.
Perhaps increased competition in the cordless nailer arena and maybe even dropping sales are what led to the new free service promise policy as a way to lure new customers.
I know there are a lot of Paslode users out there, so I took a close look at the fine print.
What is the New Free Service Promise Policy?
No questions asked. Period. If your nailer is functional, you can send it in for a factory tune-up, which I suppose means they clean and lubricate the tool.
Free UPS shipping, both ways.
The free service promise policy lasts for 2-years, presumably from the date of purchase.
And the Catch?
This only applies to new nailers purchased after 12/2/2013.
You MUST enroll/register your nailer within 60 days of purchase.
Repairs will only be done at Paslode’s Illinois location and will be completed within 3 [business?] days.
Only FOUR tools are covered by the new service promise policy: Paslode’s cordless framing nailer (CF325Li | 902600), 16 Ga finish nailer (IM250Ali | 902400), roofing nailer (CR175C | 904500), and Duo-Fast’s roofing nailer (DFCR175C | 904600).
Since the Paslode and Duo-Fast nailers are the same, that means that this policy really only applies to 3 different tools.
Did you just buy a Paslode cordless brad nailer? Sorry, it’s not eligible. Stapler? Nope. Straight finish nailer? Nuh-uh. Maybe Paslode will extend their 2-year free service promise to include these nailers in the future.
Claims can be made via phone, a mail-in claim form, or online. Then, you’ll receive instructions on how to return the product.
If your nailer is broken beyond repair, then Paslode will replace it with a new nailer, with there being a limit of one replacement per nailer purchased.
What Does This Mean to You?
The new no-questions-asked free 2-year service promise policy does seem to add a little bit of value to Paslode’s cordless nailers. There are a few catches, but the new policy at least seems reasonable.
To be frank, I am no more inclined to purchase or recommend Paslode nailers because of this. I don’t like fuel cell nailers, but to be fair it takes me forever to go through a box of nails.
If you’re buying a new program-eligible Paslode cordless nailer anyways, this is great news, almost like a free added bonus.
But if you’re on the fence between a Paslode fuel cell cordless nailer and nailers with brushless motors or built-in air compression, then will this really nudge you closer to Paslode?
Let’s say I have an eligible and enrolled Paslode nailer that started to malfunction right now (Wednesday at 12pm).
Wednesday: I file a claim on my smartphone and receive return instructions and a shipping label later in the day.
Thursday: I ship out the nailer first thing in the morning. UPS ground shipping would take 2 business days from my location.
Monday: Paslode receives the nailer in the late afternoon.
Tuesday: Paslode repairs the nailer, packages it for UPS pickup.
Wednesday: The nailer is sent back to me via UPS ground, which takes 2 business days.
Friday: I receive the repaired nailer.
Estimated turnaround time: 9 days.
In a best-case scenario, let’s say the malfunction happened on a Monday morning and I shipped it to Paslode Monday afternoon. It would arrive at their facility on Wednesday in the morning, and they could potentially repair it promptly and get it back out by Wednesday afternoon. I would then receive it Friday afternoon or evening, with a total turnaround of 4 days. That’s under ideal conditions. Let’s say I was shipping the nailer from Florida (3-day shipping back and forth), it takes a day for Paslode to send me a shipping label, and repairs take 3 days. In that case, the total wait could be as long as 14 days.
Whether waiting for 4 days or 14 days, those are all going to be days without the nailer. A professional project is not going to be put on hold for want of a nailer; a backup, rental or replacement will have to be brought in.
In the end, 2-years of free service, free shipping, and no-questions-asked all sound good, but sending the nailer off to a local service center or repair shop instead might minimize downtime. If you’re stuck without a nailer, you’re stuck without a nailer.
While it all sounds like a good idea, I can’t shake the feeling that this is just a way for Paslode to try to sell new tools.
To truly impress me, Paslode would need to do two things:
1) They should extend the free 2-year service policy to cover tools purchased in 2013 or the second half of 2012, with the start date being the date of purchase.
2) They should arrange for a free rental or loaner option, where a temporary replacement is sent out to the user. Maybe this could be done as part of the claim filing process, where the user would pay a small fee to cover shipping. That way a credit card number would also be on file in case the user keeps the loaner but doesn’t send theirs out for repair.
Or maybe Paslode could reimburse the local rental fee for tools that are found to be damaged and in need of repair.
I do like to see free back-and-forth shipping on products I send out for warranty repair or replacement, but these costs are often built into product prices. With that in mind, how “free” is this free 2-year service promise?