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Product Buyers Guide: Questions To Consider Asking a Dealer

Oct 5, 2022 | Buyers Guide

Working with dealers and contractors can be overwhelming at times, which is why it’s important to do your research on each company to ensure they’re offering the appropriate products and services – and that you would work well together. When looking for a dealer to work with, compile a list of questions that you know will help put your mind at ease. These will generally help inform you that you are getting a product that will last as long as you need it and will be provided with the best possible care and install/maintenance services.

Asking the hard questions before you commit to a dealer and make a purchase eliminates room for surprises down the road. Please keep in mind that different companies offer different services, so be sure to have enough information so you can compare contrast and pick a dealer or company that seems to be the best fit for you.

Questions to consider asking dealers:

  1. Does the dealer consult you on which product would best help me in my home?
  2. Is the dealer willing to come out and look at your home prior to ordering the equipment?
  3. Will the dealer train you on how to safely use the product?
  4. Does the dealer offer a selection of device brands?
  5. Has the dealer attended factory installation certification courses on the product they’re recommending you purchase?
  6. Does the dealer employ their own trained or LiftSquad-certified installers, or do they subcontract out?
  7. What are the specific parts and labor warranties associated with your recommended product?
  8. Does the dealer offer service 365 days a year?
  9. What is the cost of a service call?
  10. How quickly does your team respond to service calls?
  11. Does the dealer have a rental program/is it possible to rent the recommended product prior to purchasing?
  12. Does the dealer inventory certain products? How quickly can they install the recommended product?
  13. Can the dealer provide a quote showing the price for the product recommended, the install, and freight?

What else should you consider?

Many people depend on personal recommendations from a friend, relative, or trusted acquaintance, which is a great place to start. Even with a recommendation, it’s still important to do your own research on a company and be aware of their product warranties, reachability, proximity to your home, and service policies.

The general recommendation is to look at three different companies and ask them to answer basic information about their business. Comparing and contrasting experience, warranties, and service call policies are very important. We also advise you ask each company for a reference from a customer that is willing for you to visit the home and see a product already installed – or at least speak with them over the phone. Talking to the customer gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the customer experience and hear how satisfied they were with the process.

Each provider, dealer or contractor usually has a website – or can be found through a dealer locator, for example, like this page linked here. If you search for the name of the business or individual on Google, you can typically find reviews from past customers. You are looking for all 5-star reviews – read the reviews and see what others are saying.

The next place to look is your local Better Business Bureau – this organization acts a consumer watch dog and rates excellent businesses with an A or an A+ rating. Companies that do not have a BBB rating will likely be new to the business or are a very small business. You can look up any business on   https://www.bbb.org/.

Looking for dealers for home safety equipment can be stressful.

We’re here to help. When looking at contractors or dealers for home safety equipment, it’s very important that the person measuring and installing your equipment has been educated on how to assist seniors with an “Aging in Place” certification. Some companies will have at least one individual who has gone through the certification – but it is not that person who will measure and install a product in your home. Look up who is CAPS certified and current with their certification by emailing the NAHB at Professional Designations Helpline designations@nahb.org or calling at (800) 368-5242 ext. 8154

If you don’t have time to go and see a customer’s installation, or are unable to make such arrangements, ask the dealer if they have a showroom you can visit so you can see the product I person and understand how it will look in your home. Be sure to discuss how your family member moves, their current height and weight, and be open to suggestions. Often, stairlift models are compatible with additional features that may not be standard on all such as retractable seatbelts, tray tables, automatic folding rails, key locks, and more.

Once you have decided on a product, have the dealer walk through the safeguards on the device. These safeguards, or obstruction sensors for example, are in place to prevent accidents – it’s also a good way to learn that your stair lift may stop at times because something is in the way! Spending some time on basic troubleshooting with another family member is also very valuable. Spend as much time as you need to ensure your comfort with operating the lift, troubleshooting, and enjoying safe use for years to come.

What happens after the lift is installed?

On the day of installation, after the lift is installed, the technician or installer will review how to use the lift again and take any lingering questions you may have. There are also troubleshooting guides in the unit manual as well as online at https://www.harmar.com/resources/. But, please keep in mind, to please call your dealer when in need of help. They are more than happy to come back to your home to resolve any service issues with your lift and conduct regular maintenance checks to keep your lift running as long as you need!

Interested in learning more?

What Happens to my Stairlift in a Power Outage?
In the event of a power outage, Harmar’s stairlift batteries will help you maintain the use of your lift for up to 60 cycles, or roundtrips up and down your staircase.

Stairlifts Grants and Funding Opportunities
Government and private grants and other funding opportunities can help such individuals to improve their quality of life. However, searching and applying for funding opportunities can be stressful.

Stairlift Buyers Guide: Straight Stairlift Installation Process
Depending on the length and staircase, straight stairlifts can typically be installed by one or two professional installers, as they are much less involved than many custom curved stairlifts.

Stairlift Buyers Guide: Curved Stairlift Installation Process
Curved stairlifts can be more involved, compared to straight stairlifts, due to their custom design and potentially intricate rails.

Stairlift Options, Models, and Features: Pinnacle, Summit, and Helix
Stairlifts, or sometime called “chair lifts,” can be designed for use indoors or out with either a curved or straight rail, depending on the need and layout of the home.

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