When a distributor buys a piece of catering equipment, it could store the kit in its warehouse for a while before being installed on site.

Any delays in a project could result in the appliance hanging around for months before actually being fitted.

This can create a dilemma for manufacturers and suppliers, as when do they feel that a product’s warranty starts – when it was first purchased by the distributor, when it was installed on the site or when it was first put into use?

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Catering Insight asked various firms to see whether there was any consensus.

At Swindon-based MCS Technical Products, sole importer of the CookTek induction range from the US, technically the warranty starts as soon as the equipment leaves its premises.

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However, MD Steve Snow clarified: “In the real world that is not always practical or fair.

“If, for example, a CookTek product had been specified to be dropped into a counter, after it leaves us it may be another 6 to 8 weeks at the fabricator before it is installed for the end user.

“Again, a distributor might order equipment for a site that is not due to open for another 6 months.