Pelco's Shipping and Return Guarantees

By: 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 Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

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 GSX 2019 Show Report Final on Sep 12, 2019
IPVM went to Chicago for ASIS GSX 2019, with many exhibitors disappointed about traffic and the exhibitor schedule changing next year. Inside we...
US Government Ban of Dahua, Hikvision, Huawei Takes Effect Now on Aug 13, 2019
The 'prohibition on use or procurement' of Dahua, Hikvision and Huawei products and 'essential components' take effect today, August 13, 2019, one...
Proactive CCTV "Only Affordable Video Archiving Solution" Profile on Aug 12, 2019
Proactive CCTV is claiming to offer "the only affordable video archiving solution on the market", reducing the storage typically required for H.265...
Stanley Makes "Multi-Million Dollar Investment" Into Banned Hikvision Products on Aug 09, 2019
Just days from the US government ban going into effect, US mega-corporation Stanley has dramatically increased its imports of banned Hikvision...
Vivotek Revenue Soars on Aug 05, 2019
Vivotek's revenue has soared so far in 2019, growing 45%. Inside this note, we examine import records and see who is driving Vivotek's growth...
Online Video Surveillance Sales Comparison - Amazon, B&H, CDW, LTS, Super Circuits, More on Jul 31, 2019
IPVM has uncovered the key trends and top options being offered across commonly used surveillance sellers. How has the market shifted since we...
Ionodes Company Profile on Jul 31, 2019
What happened to Ionodes? With seasoned leadership from Jean-Paul Saindon founder of SmartSight and Dr. Michael Gilge, founder of VCS, back in...
Fujifilm Expanding Into Video Surveillance on Jul 26, 2019
While Sony continues to fade out of the video surveillance market and Canon continues to make huge investments into acquiring video surveillance...
Australia Security Full Show Report on Jul 25, 2019
IPVM went to Australia attending the 3 days of the Australia Security Exhibition: This was held at the ICC Sydney, as shown below: In this...
History of Video Surveillance on Jul 19, 2019
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to ab emerging AI cloud era.  The goal of this history is to...

Most Recent Industry Reports

How Cobalt Robotics May Disrupt Security on Sep 13, 2019
While security robots have largely become a joke over the last few years, one organization, Cobalt Robotics, has raised $50+ million from top US...
Panasonic 4K Camera Tested (WV-S2570L) on Sep 13, 2019
Panasonic has released their latest generation 4K dome, the WV-S2570L, claiming "Extreme image quality allows evidence to be captured even under...
ASIS GSX 2019 Show Report Final on Sep 12, 2019
IPVM went to Chicago for ASIS GSX 2019, with many exhibitors disappointed about traffic and the exhibitor schedule changing next year. Inside we...
Installation Course - Last Chance - Register Now on Sep 12, 2019
Last Chance - Register Now - September 2019 Video Surveillance Install Course. Thursday, September 12th is your last chance to register for the...
Commend ID5 Intercom Tested on Sep 12, 2019
Commend touts the new ID5 intercom as 'timelessly elegant' and the slim body, glass front touchscreen indeed looks better than common, but ugly,...
US State Department: "Chinese Tech Giants" "Tools of the Chinese Communist Party" on Sep 12, 2019
The US State Department has called out "Chinese tech giants" for being "tools of the Chinese Communist Party" in a blunt new speech that makes...
Uniview OEM Directory on Sep 11, 2019
This directory lists 20+ companies that OEM products from Uniview, with a graphic and links to company websites below. It does not cover all...
Yi Home Camera 3 AI Analytics Tested on Sep 10, 2019
Yi Technology is claiming "new AI features" in its $50 Home Camera 3 "eliminates 'false positives' caused by flying insects, small pets, or light...
Hanwha Announces 32MP Camera + AI Line on Sep 10, 2019
In the first rise in maximum megapixel resolution in 5 years, Hanwha has announced a 32MP / 8K camera directly competing with Avigilon's H4 30MP /...
Fingerprints for Access Control Guide on Sep 09, 2019
Users can lose badges, but they never misplace a finger, right? The most common biometric used in access are fingerprints, and it has become one...

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