The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
You’ve chosen your product, paid for it and now you need to decide about the install. Are you going to do it? Are you going to have your friend’s cousin Jed install it? Do you pay the professionals to do it? What is the best course of action? In this article, we’ll cover these different options and their potential benefits and downfalls.
We’ve all seen the advertisements for “free delivery” and like me, you’re probably wondering what the catch is. Most of the time, there is no catch. You are getting exactly as advertised, free delivery; nothing more or less. As I like to say to customers, we’re going to take it off the truck at your curb and wave at you as we drive away. If you need a power cord, hoses or the unit brought inside your house, you’re out of luck. This is unfortunate for a lot of people because they have a heavy object sitting outside their house with no way of getting it hooked up. If you do manage to get it inside, what are you going to do about the hookups needed to get it installed? A lot of people will opt into using their old hookups; reusing hoses, power cords and venting. This is often dangerous because the manufacturer of these installation parts have recommended life spans for their equipment. If you’re using 10 year old washer fill hoses on your new machine, you may be looking at a very costly remediation bill when your house floods due to a rupture in the hose. Let’s say you had the product dropped off and paid for the additional hookups. Are you qualified to install a 220 volt power cord? If this isn’t done correctly, it could cause your appliance to breakdown prematurely or even catch on fire. If you find yourself in this situation and the delivery techs are still there, it may be in your best interest to offer them a tip for them to install your hookups. This way, you at least know that it was done correctly. I would say give them some beer, but we don’t need our drivers driving around with beer in their truck.
Speaking of beer, what about your friend’s cousin Jed? He used to install appliances back in the 90’s and he’ll do it for a few bucks and a six pack. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes people know what they are doing and you should allow them to do it. However, sometimes they act like they know what they are doing, when in reality, they don’t. If you forget to secure a washer drain hose, it could pop out of the drain mid-cycle, releasing all the water from inside the machine on to the floor of your house. I have seen this many times and I’ve even been hired by insurance companies to inspect a flooded house to see exactly what went wrong. This, along with how to correctly and carefully move an appliance so you don’t damage it, are all things that professional techs take into consideration every time they enter a customers house. Granted, some companies hire these “cousin Jed” types and you know it as soon as you answer the door. Unfortunately, this is fairly common now-a-days and even the box stores have joined the trend.
With all this being said, if you’re going to have a company install your appliances, how do you choose that company? If you want to feel comfortable, ask a few questions. If you’re at a local company, ask a few nice questions about their techs like what’s their name or how long have they been installing. Small companies don’t have much to hide in regards to their employees. If they are like me, they are proud of their employees and can’t wait to tell you about them. I could talk forever about my techs and what they bring to the table. Starting a conversation with your salesperson may make you feel a lot better about your upcoming installation and may put some of your worries to rest. Many people have had bad experiences with workers in their homes and are leery about most people entering their house. As a business owner, it is my job to ensure my techs give off good energy, so they don’t inadvertently offend or make a client feel uncomfortable. At my shop we call our install techs the last 30 feet. This means that our install techs are the last 30 feet the customer will see from our company before the interaction is over. If my sales person gives the client the best service they ever had and gave them an extremely good deal, but my install techs were late, rude and unprofessional, the client will forget everything up to that point and the bad service is all they will remember. It is a tough but real truth. They are the final face of the company and it is important to make sure you have the right person for the job.
Now, what if you’re at a box store? The first things you should be asking is do they use their own techs, or is it a contracted business that will be doing the installs. Something I am not a fan of is the use of sub-contractors. For some projects or industries it may work great. In the world of appliances, it doesn’t work out so well. Box stores use sub-contractors for a few reasons. Hiring employees is hard. Hiring skilled employees is even harder. If they don’t have to worry about the hiring process of skilled employees, they can worry about other things. Another reason is liability. Since they aren’t the ones installing the appliances, they have no liability. If your floor or wall gets damaged or there is a flood, the box stores have zero liability because they didn’t touch the appliance. This also goes for service. Box stores don’t have a service department, nor do they want one. If something breaks, once again, there is no liability. When a problem arises with installation or with the product under warranty, they have no obligation to take care of you, and most likely will give you some sort of 1-800 number. Using sub-contractors doesn’t allow you to meet and have relationships with the people that are doing your installs; The last 30 feet. This creates distension with your clients, and makes it difficult to take care of the customer when there is a problem. If you have a problem with your appliance and it was purchased and installed by 1 company, there is 1 phone call that needs to be made. If you purchased an appliance from one store, but another company installed it and another company will service it, you have many phone calls to make before you can potentially get a solution, if a problem arises. We call this silo management.
In closing, there are a lot of things to consider if you’re trying to finalize the purchase of your appliance. Are you capable of installing your appliance to the manufacturer’s specifications when your product is dropped off? Do you have the means of moving your appliance into its space without damaging it? If you’re paying for install, do you know who is coming to your house to install your appliance and what company they actually work for? These are just a few things to consider before the arrival of your product.
If you find yourself looking for advice, feel free to reach out to us. We’re here to help you out and answer any questions you find yourself asking.