Mention the word warranty and you have to banish the immediate thought of a salesman trying to sell you insurance for a product you've just been told will last for years and if it does develop a fault, the chances are it's not covered anyway.
But, says Richard Gretton, Castelan commercial director, the furniture sector has transformed itself from that image.
'While some people may still think that way, the warranty market, particularly the furniture warranty market, is nothing like that. It's about offering real value and service delivery to consumers and retailers.'
He points out that the company and the sector as a whole is regulated by the Financial Services Authority and the warranties are fully underwritten, so there is no incentive not to resolve claims.
'Furniture can be a major purchase so it makes sense to protect it as accidents do happen, and when they do it makes sense for the claim to be dealt with as quickly as possible to provide the exceptional aftersales care consumers are looking for,' he explains.
'Many queries can be resolved on the telephone by our claim handling team. However, if the problem is more serious, we will deploy the assignment to our mobile Furniture Care Network.'
Gretton says retailers take different approaches to warranties from seeing it as a profitable stream to reinforcing their reputation for service, or both.
'The core of what we deliver at Castelan is a full end to end solution. We are the only provider in the marketplace that can truly do this as we are the only one that fully employs its entire repair and care network under the brand Furniture Care Network,' he says.
The PremierCare service means the company closely manages every touch point with the consumer, from the initial product development, to the first telephone call, to the service delivery in the home. This ensures a smooth and effective customer journey that both delivers great service to the consumer but also reflects the service promise and brand values of retailers.
'It's not just about the warranty and the care kit, which is important in itself, it's about the end to end service delivery that comes with it,' says Gretton.
'Most retailers clearly want repeat customers and in fact a customer for life. This can only be enhanced by ensuring closely managed service delivery from their warranty and care product provider.'
Sales staff are trained in how they offer the warranty to consumers. 'Our sales support team work with the retailer to help deliver and exceed their business targets. A key element of this is the business development support we provide for their staff. The training can be delivered as one-to-one coaching, classroom based or train the trainers programmes,' he adds.