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Does Composite Decking Class Action Compensation Console Dissatisfied Customers?
If you are questioning what type of deck building product you would choose to build your new deck with and you are comparing the low maintenance options of vinyl decking vs. composite decking, you might be interested in hearing about yet another instance in a successive history of class action suits against composite decking manufacturers.
According to a study conducted by the Freedonia Group, the demand for composite decking is expected to hit 5.5 billion by 2018. So far, there has been a lot of confusion about this decking product and it has already gone through several changes since its relatively recent infancy. There are a lot of myths, assumptions and misunderstanding to wade through in order to gain a clearer understanding about composite decking.
According to Top Class Actions website, composite decking manufacturer, Fiberon has agreed to settle a class-action law suit that alleges some of its composite decking products were susceptible to mold and fungus growth, and that the company failed to honor its warranty and pay for the decking to be repaired or replaced.
The site continues to report that this suit involved non-capped composite decking sold as 7 different brand or trademark names including Fiberon, Veranda and Portico. The manufacturer denies allegations that a latent defect was responsible for dark spots caused by mold and mildew stains, and asserts that the problems were due to environmental issues, failure to properly maintain and clean the deck or other issues excluded from warranty coverage. However, Fiberon has agreed to the settlement to avoid the expense and uncertainty of ongoing litigation.
While it is certainly true that environmental contributors and the frequency in which the decks were cleaned will have a direct effect on the appearance of any deck’s surface, if the number of complaints regarding these composite deck boards warranted class action, then it is reasonable to assume that it was not entirely a home owners’ maintenance issue.
The class action settlement does not necessarily mean that all of those unhappy customers will be satisfied with the compensation options, though. In fact, one could assume that many of them will be left further frustrated by the experience as the class action settlement involves 3-tiers that require submission of a claim form and potentially 2 additional time restricted supplemental claim forms, according to Top Class Actions.
- Tier 1 claims will provide home owners with a voucher for a deck cleaner if they provide photographic evidence that at least 1/3 of their deck is affected by the excessive discoloration.
- If spots reappear after Tier 1 cleaner has been used, Tier 2 claims will be provided with a composite deck stain that they can resurface the deck with.
- If the spots bleed through and appear again after proper application of the stain, Tier 3 class members will be eligible for a voucher for a 23% discount for replacement Veranda Armorguard Composite Decking.
That’s all! A less than 23% discount on a product that has already disappointed.
Ironically, following this class-action settlement, Fiberon is currently sponsoring a $20,000 Deck Giveaway Contest promoting a brand in their product line that claims to have a lifetime warranty. (Hopefully if people experience problems with the decking product they win, the warranty will be worth more than a 23% off voucher to purchase a replacement!)
Choose a Product You Can Rely On, From A Brand You Can Trust
Duradek vinyl membranes have been protecting decks from the elements for 45 years. With the same low maintenance advantages touted by the composite deck manufacturers, Duradek requires only seasonal cleaning throughout its lifetime and no re-application.
With a 5 year appearance warranty and a 15-year waterproofing warranty, Duradek has seen its product perform throughout several warranty cycles and knows the life expectancy of Duradek usually far exceeds the warranty coverage.
While there will always be a certain degree of weathering to anything exposed to the elements year after year, Duradek vinyl membranes stand the test of time.
If you want to know more about how Duradek can give you the low maintenance deck that you desire, contact a Duradek dealer near you for a free estimate.
Trex Composite Decking Customers Need to Check for Broken Deck Boards – posted July 29, 2013
Vinyl Decking vs. Composite Decking – Is the Price Worth the Cost – posted May 27, 2013
Vinyl Decking vs. Composite Decking – Is it All That it Appears – posted November 5, 2012