Lesson on purchasing a wheelchair lifts over the internet or from a non-elevator company
Everyone likes to save a buck, right? Well, let me tell you about two people I just met today (completely separate) that tried this and are now WAY over their head and BUDGET. First Customer:
Amazing company, smart person. This gentlemen got taken advantage of by an “over the internet” sale. They were sold a commercial lift (which NEVER should have happened) over the internet. They used a local elevator company to install who had never installed this equipment before. Come inspection time, they failed. There’s now only a few days of work left but they’ve spent close to $70,000!! Oh my god! That’s an insane amount of money to spend on two wheelchair lifts in the Bay Area, or anywhere else for that matter. He called us because we have experience fixing these issues. We’ll fix it but, man, that’s more money that they’re spending to get it right.
This one is almost as bad but they have a get out of jail free card. The City of Los Angeles requires plan check and inspections on Wheelchair Lifts installed in Los Angeles city limits. Unfortunately this customer used 1) a company that isn’t licensed to install these lifts and (2) that company installed a RESIDENTIAL lift in a COMMERCIAL space!!!! I anguished over telling them after they sent me photos but, luckily for them, it’s only a temporary lift that they’ll remove when they convert the building back to private residence. LUCKY THEM. Could you imagine having to pull that lift out and replace with another? Oh, I felt so bad for them. They were just completely taken advantage of.
Believe me, I know that people want to save money. I try to do it with all my expenses but I always pay more for higher quality work, especially on items that are highly regulated like residential elevators, stair lifts and wheelchair lifts (vertical platform lifts). You don’t always have to go with the highest but make sure that:
- Your contractor is registered with the CSLB.
- Has the correct LICENSE to do this work (C11 in California)
- Has the correct insurance (liability, auto, workman’s comp). Some companies will try to use their manufacturer’s insurance! DON’T FALL FOR THIS!
- And that the equipment and installation will comply with code AND pass inspection.
- Get it all in writing.
Cheap is always cheap in the long run. With equipment like ours, you really get what you pay for. There are shady people out there that will try to take advantage of people’s inexperience with this equipment. There’s people like that in any industry but there really, REALLY shouldn’t be in mine because people’s well being and lives are on the line.
ACME likes to see ourselves as consultants. We give you all the information you need to make a decision. There’s no “hard sell.” There’s no fake high prices and, “only for today, we’ll give you thousands off!” That’s just sales techniques (lazy ones, at that). All our lifts are code compliant and will pass any inspection (it’s very, VERY rare to have more than one inspection on our installs).
Ok, rant off. Just be careful everyone.