Service and Spares

Grade A products are those with the best after sales services and easiest access to spare parts.

We disassembled and analysed each device, awarding a score for services and spares between zero and twenty five.

Customer Warranty

Points are deducted for products that do not offer a customer warranty in the box. Product warranties have become the minimum guarantee of after sales service for off grid solar devices sold in Sub Saharan African and South Asia. Product warranties outline the terms and situations in which repairs or exchanges will be made in the event that the product does not function as originally described. Warranties that are activated via SMS or through a sales agent are likely to be most convenient for customers in rural or remote regions.

Maintenance instructions and repair manuals

Points are deducted for a lack of basic information about product maintenance or repair provided in a locally understood language. Maintenance instructions and repair manuals make it easier for customers or technicians to extend the product’s life after the warranty expires. They also encourage safety, proper operation and cost savings to the customer and repair technicians.

Customer Service

Points are deducted if basic after sales customer service is not available in the country of purchase, or if information about how to access this service is not available out of the box. Customer service contact information is essential. Basic customer service information should be labeled on the packaging in the form of a toll free phone number, website, sales agent, or other means.

Spares

Points are deducted if spare or replacement parts are not available from the manufacturer.

Lifespan

Points are deducted for a lack of basic information about product maintenance or repair provided in a locally understood language. The provision of basic Information about the expected lifespan of key components, like batteries, helps customers to make purchasing decisions and to balance cost considerations with concerns for quality.