Wednesday, August 30, 2006

How to buy a Stair Lift

Buying a stair lift is certainly a daunting task these days. If you need a straight stair lift then generally speaking there is not a huge difference in quality. Curved stairlifts on the other hand are far more complicated and some are definitely better than others. I would be reluctant to recommend a particular stairlift without seeing your staircase and discussing your needs but I can offer you advice on how to make sure you get the right lift. There are several manufacturers and many more independent companies that supply lifts from a range of manufacturers. There are good and bad companies among these. The industry has become very competitive over the last few years and there are a number of unscrupulous traders now operating. Even some of the big manufacturers have a poor record for after sales service and pushy salesman as well as charging an exceedingly high price for their lifts. However with a few sensible precautions you can get a really good deal.

It is a good idea to ask your local authority who they use, they will be happy to provide a list for you and this should ensure that you avoid rogue traders. Try a manufacturer and a local independent supplier to get a comparison. Always get 3 or more quotations, this is time consuming and intrusive but is really the only way to feel confident that you are making the right choice. Never agree to purchase the lift while the salesman is with you. A reputable company will respect your decision. If the salesman starts to pester you or offers you a discount if you buy now, then be very sceptical. Ask about maintenance costs, will the company still look after your lift if you don't sign up to an expensive contract? Find out if the company has engineers local to you and if they attend out of hours call outs. Also if they are independent suppliers check with the manufacturer to ensure that they are authorised dealers. If they aren't, then they will not have access to spare parts and will not have had the correct training. Once you have all of the quotations in writing take your time to make a decision and make sure that you read the small print. If you are confused about any detail then speak to someone from the company and ask for their response in writing if necessary. These precautions should ensure that you get a suitable lift at a fair price. Good luck!

Christian Dunnage
Dolphin Mobility Ltd