Pelco's Shipping and Return Guarantees

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Aug 09, 2012

Will making returns easy and guaranteeing stock draw integrators to Pelco? The company thinks so, and they have leveraged the idea into a recently announced Product Shipping/Return Guarantee. In this note, we examine this policy's value and see how it stacks against competitors.

Increasing Demands

Today, customers can be more demanding about quick turn-around. Ten years ago, if a manufacturer's item was out of stock or backordered, it forced the buyer to renegotiate an installation or maintenance deadline. Now, if an item is backordered, the initial order is cancelled and alternative sources are sought. At best, the buyer finds another source to buy from, or at worst finds a competitive product from a different manufacturer to meet the need.

Pelco Policy Overview

Pelco lays out the policy on their website, with two major claims:

  • "24-Hour Out-The-Door Shipping": Pelco items appearing on an Approved Stocking List are guaranteed to ship within one business day, or Pelco "pays ground freight shipping" within the US, and for our Canadian customers we will provide a 2.5% rebate."
  • "90-Day No Questions Asked Returns": Any new or used Pelco item can be returned within 90 days of initial purchase with no restocking fee.
We asked Pelco several additional questions in order to clarify some of the 'gray areas' of the policy:

How will Pelco handle situation where 'out of stock' parts are needed more urgently than 'free ground shipping' provides?: "Pelco's standard policies will still determine how we treat special requests for shipping. This new 24-Hour Out-the-Door promise for our ASL list of products provides for Ground Shipment if we miss our promised ship date. That is the policy as it relates to this program. If customers wish to request expedited shipping, we will charge our customary rates for those expedited shipments."

Will Pelco issue me a credit or cash refund on returned product?: "For customers that buy Pelco product directly from us, we will issue a credit in the case of a return. For customers who purchase from a Distributor and who have a need to return a Pelco product to their distributor as part of the “90-Days No questions asked” policy, the Distributor will provide a credit to the customer, and Pelco will in turn provide a credit to the Distributor when they return the product to us."

If an integrator buys through a distributor instead of directly through Pelco, does the practical benefit or impact of 24/90 change?: "The benefits of the 24/90 policies are much the same for all customers, direct or indirect. With the new 90 policy we have extended the “No Questions Asked” way of doing business to our Strategic Distribution Partners as well. A Distributor has the same opportunity to extend our “No Questions Asked” policy to their customers when product is shipped from their inventory. We thus are able to provide the same benefits to all customers regardless of their point of purchase."

Other Manufacturer Policies Compared

Unlike Pelco, most manufacturers have significantly shorter return policies and no formalized commitments for next day shipping. Additionally, typically manufacturers require some prior approval or RMA to accept returns. Here is a short review of relevant formal policies from manufacturers:

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

Axis: Any product determined faulty within 30 days is entitled to new product replacement with valid RMA. Advanced replacement products are shipped within 24 hours when inventory is available. Axis supports an 'Open Box' return policy for Channel Partners where uninstalled, opened product can be returned with a 10% fee up to a maximum of $250. The product must have been sold to an Axis Channel Partner, be in “Like New” condition and be returned within 90 days.

Arecont Vision: If a camera is determined to be "Bad" within 30 days, it will be exchanged for a new camera. Cameras beyond the 30 day period, but still within Warranty period are able to be exchanged for refurbished cameras, but not credit or refund. Product returns are not addressed by the manufacturer outside of the RMA process.

ACTi: Faulty product is eligible 30 day product return with RMA for sales credit from manufacturer, but returns are subject to distributor's policies. After 30 days, product is subject to Warranty process with varying costs to repair or exchange product. Advanced replacement is available with prior approvals and is subject to product stock levels.

While no manufacturer we checked had a formal stocking guarantee, most featured 'advanced replacement' policies for equipment currently in inventory. We were unable to find other manufacturer's 'stocking list'.

Written Policies Vs Actual Practice

When speaking with other manufacturers, they emphasized that, in practice, they frequently, if not regularly achieved similar shipping and return objectives as the Pelco policies. Of course, this is at their discretion and may be more frequently approved for larger partners, those who complain louder, etc.

Pelco's Policy Analyzed

Overall, a formalized written policy helps to eliminate surprises or favoritism while providing a powerful signaling effect for branding / marketing. However, the policies themselves are mixed:

Inventory Guarantee is Weak: Despite the assurance, Pelco's self-imposed penalty for missing 24 hour delivery is weak with only a relatively trivial payment / penalty (covering ground shipping). If Pelco fails to support inventory levels, the integrator may face a significant logistical problem with just a few dollar discount to show for it. If Pelco is truly committed to this, they should put (more) money behind this to truly compensate the integrator for resulting problems.

Returns Policy is Strong: Pelco's acceptance of any return, for any reason for a full 90 days after purchase is broadly accommodating compared to other competitors. No other manufacturers we checked had a written policy that matched both the length and 'no hassle' guarantee of Pelco. Several manufacturers commented to us their formal returns policies are subject to 'internal discretion' and considered on a case by case basis. Other manufacturers state that returns decisions are frequently made in the best interest of the integrator/customer. However Pelco's written statement takes individual assessment and judgement out of the equation, and flatly defines the company's return terms.

Conclusion

The 'old' Pelco was clearly known for its customer service and support. Since the Schneider acquisition this reputation has faded. This policy should help restore some of that and may motivate rivals to match, which would be good for the entire industry.

Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports on Sales

ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
Ubiquiti Protect Video Surveillance Profile on Nov 07, 2018
Ubiquiti has now been in the video surveillance market for 7 years (see our first coverage back in 2011). In that time, the company's revenue has...
Wyze Explosive Growth Disrupting Consumer IP Camera Market on Oct 30, 2018
Wyze, a company founded only in 2017, is poised to disrupt the consumer IP camera market by combining American marketing and Chinese manufacturing...
Huawei To Be “Top Three Global Position” in Video Surveillance on Oct 29, 2018
Huawei - China’s biggest networking gear and smartphone maker - plans to become one of the top three global video surveillance manufacturers in...
Dahua Phasing Out FLIR Brand on Oct 26, 2018
8 months after Dahua acquired FLIR's SMB video surveillance business (their own OEM), Dahua has told dealers that it will be phasing out the use of...
When Your Salesperson Creates An International Incident (Amazon / ICE) on Oct 23, 2018
Having your salespeople be aggressive and go after big accounts is a virtue, mostly. On occasions, it can cause problems. A new case involves...
Geutebruck Company Profile on Oct 22, 2018
Geutebrück has been in business for nearly 50 years, but they are not well known within the US surveillance market. In this report, we profile...
Knightscope Winning Investors, Struggling With Growth on Oct 16, 2018
While Knightscope's new financials show the company only winning 11 new customers in the past 12 months, the company continues to win new...
Integrator Laptop Guide on Oct 16, 2018
This 18-page guide provides guidance and statistics about integrator laptop use. 150 integrators explained to IPVM in detail about their laptops,...
ADI's Financials Revealed + W-Box Growth Priority on Oct 15, 2018
  ADI is one of the most powerful distributors in the security industry but how big are they? How much profit do they make? How much do they sell...

Most Recent Industry Reports

'Sticker' Surveillance Camera Developed (CSEM Witness) on Nov 16, 2018
The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) has announced what it calls the: world’s first fully autonomous camera that can be...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Final Report on Nov 16, 2018
This is our second (updated) and final show report from ISC East. ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed...
Facial Detection Tested on Nov 16, 2018
Facial detection and recognition are increasingly offered by video surveillance manufacturers. Facial detection detects faces in an image/video...
Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact