Getting What You Pay For
How to not to get stuck with it – no matter what you paid for it
Here’s an old saying that you’ll probably recognize: “You get what you pay for!” And then there’s a slightly more modern version that we’ve come up with that we feel is more in keeping with the times: “You can get stuck with it – no matter what you pay for it!!!!” We as consumers are all too trusting and – pardon us – far too gullible. In “the old days” our great grandparents purchased most of their wares directly from or almost directly from the person or persons who made the product. Wow, have times changed.
As real life remodeling contractors we get the opportunity to work with hundreds of different brands – in every price range. And whatever the price – it makes no difference – the products all get handled in a similar fashion. What we have discovered is that there is not one company that can absolutely guarantee a pain-free purchase – this includes the so called “up-scale” brands. No matter how expensive – modern products are handled by multiple companies. It really isn’t like the old days any more. The artisan is farther away from you than you might imagine. Here’s an example: A plumbing fixture may be made by a very reputable company employing extremely careful employees – yeah right! The product is boxed and turned over to the shipping department who hires a freight company to ship the product to the distributor on the other coast. The freight company then subcontracts part of its shipment to a separate delivery service. Finally, the distributor – an altogether separately owned organization – has its staff place the items in stock and when an item is sold other employees handle and ship the item out to a retailer. Sometimes the distributor uses its own freight team, but more often than not the company outsources the task to – you got it – a subcontractor. Long story short – by the time you get your modern-day purchase it has been handled by at least a dozen different companies and dozens of different people. Keep in mind that not everyone loves their job. Get the picture?
When you open the box you discover a dent and return it to the company for a replacement. This works AOK when the purchase is extremely recent – the last day or so. However, be careful here. There can be instances where you can end up causing yourself to be the one to end up “holding the bag”. If you make a purchase, and don’t immediately open the box and check the contents, you could be in for it. Here’s an example: You have decided to remodel a bathroom and you want high end products and it will take a long time to pay for all of the items you will need; sink, toilet, tub, faucets, medicine cabinet, etc. So, you purchase the items a little at a time and store them in your living room or spare bedroom. To make sure they don’t get damaged you leave them in their shipping containers. Comes time to do the remodel you open the boxes and discover that the medicine cabinet is crushed. Can you take it back to the place of purchase and get a replacement four or five months after the purchase? Forget about it. The company that you made the purchase from will probably treat you in the exact same fashion that the police treat a known criminal charged with assault. It won’t make a difference that the item is still in its original wrapping or that the shipping warranty is unconditional. You WILL be left holding the bag.
Our best advice, regardless of what you purchase or who you purchase it from, is to open the box before you leave the store if you can, but at least open and inspect it on the day of the purchase. Check the entire contents (not just the outer surfaces) to insure that every mechanical function, bend, dent and scratch is found. At this point the store still owns the damage. And don’t be misled. We have this misconception as consumers that “high-end” companies have better warranties and are more service oriented. Don’t be fooled. The high-end companies have more to lose when their stuff is damaged in shipping. You will find that these companies are no more responsible for their products than their low cost competitors.
Now you know how “Not to get stuck with it – no matter what you pay for it!!!!”
For more home improvement tips and information search our website or call our listener hot line 24/7 at 1-800-737-2474 (ext 59).
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