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

Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...
Favorite Intercom Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 14, 2018
Intercoms are certainly increasing in popularity, driven by the integration of video and IP networking. But who is the favorite? On the one side,...
VMS Export Shootout - Avigilon, Dahua, Exacq, Genetec, Hikvision, Milestone on Sep 13, 2018
When crimes, accidents or problems occur, exporting video from one's video surveillance system is critical to proving incidents. But who does it...
Ambarella on Computer Vision and US Hikua Ban on Sep 10, 2018
Ambarella, a widely-used video surveillance component supplier, is betting on the rise of computer vision and is already seeing a sales impact from...
Ligowave Wireless Profile - Ubiquiti Competitor on Aug 27, 2018
Ubiquiti has become the most common choice for wireless in video surveillance (see Favorite Wireless Manufacturers) but not without controversy and...
ISS VMS / Video Analytics Company Profile on Aug 16, 2018
Who is ISS? In the past few months, they had one of the craziest ISC West promo items in years. Then, they hired industry veteran and ex-Dahua...
Dahua NA Consolidates Rep Firms Led By Ex-FLIR Team on Aug 01, 2018
When Dahua acquired Lorex / FLIR SMB, Dahua NA had 11 manufacturer rep firms and FLIR had another 6. Now, Dahua NA, led by the ex-FLIR team, has...
Wave Retorts: SDS 'Desperate' And 'Defeated' on Aug 01, 2018
Distributor SDS has sued Nortek and distributor Wave Electronics alleging bribery, conspiracy, antitrust violations and violations of state laws...
Security Sales Course January 2019 on Jul 31, 2018
The next IPVM Security Sales Course will be held in January 2019. Register now and save $50. This sales course is customized for the needs and...
Milestone / Canon Spinout Arcules Cloud Launch on Jul 30, 2018
Canon and Milestone's VSaaS Startup spinoff Arcules launched their platform at Google Cloud Next. IPVM spoke with CEO Andreas Pettersson about the...

Most Recent Industry Reports

25% China Tariffs Finalized For 2019, 10% Start Now, Includes Select Video Surveillance on Sep 18, 2018
A surprise move: In July, when the most recent tariff round was first announced, the tariffs were only scheduled for 10%. However, now, the US...
Central Stations Face Off Against NFPA On Fire Monitoring on Sep 18, 2018
Central stations are facing off against the NFPA over what they call anti-competitive language in NFPA 72, the standard that covers fire alarms....
Hikvision USA Starts Layoffs on Sep 18, 2018
Hikvision USA has started layoffs, just weeks after the US government ban was passed into law. Inside this note, we examine: The important...
Chinese Government Praises Hikvision Following Xi Jinping on Sep 17, 2018
The Chinese government council responsible for managing China's state-owned companies praised Hikvision’s obedience to China’s authoritarian leader...
Amazon Ring Spotlight Cam Tested on Sep 17, 2018
Amazon's Ring has released their latest camera entry, the Spotlight Cam, which we bought and tested in our Consumer IP Camera Analytics...
European Mega Security Firm Verisure Pushing Security Fog on Sep 17, 2018
The European mega security firm Verisure (Securitas Direct), with a reported 2 million customers, is pushing security fog, as shown in this BBC...
IP Camera Cable Labeling Guide on Sep 14, 2018
Labeling cables can save a lot of money and headaches. While it is easy to overlook, taking time to label runs during installation significantly...
Favorite Intercom Manufacturers 2018 on Sep 14, 2018
Intercoms are certainly increasing in popularity, driven by the integration of video and IP networking. But who is the favorite? On the one side,...
Vivotek 4MP Camera Tested (FD8379-HV) on Sep 13, 2018
Next in our series of updated 4MP testing, we bought and tested Vivotek's FD8379-HV, and entry level 4MP model claiming "top-notch quality video in...
Ascent / MONI Faces Lender Lawsuit and Debt Crisis on Sep 13, 2018
ASCMA, aka Ascent, aka Brinks Home Security, aka MONI, aka Monitronics is being sued by a group of their lenders who allege: As of June 30,...

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