Thursday, November 23, 2006

Freelift Curved Stairlifts

Below are the order deadlines for curved stairlifts required before Christmas:

Deadline for placing new orders - 5.00pm on Tuesday, 28 November 2006, with a 'clean' FMP, whereby drawing is signed off by 3.00pm on Tuesday, 5 December 2006.

These orders will be available from Freelift prior to Christmas.

TNT will make their normal collections on Friday 22nd December, however, only certain postcodes will receive deliveries on Saturday, 23 December.

TNT will operate as normal on 27/28/29 December 2006.

Christmas Holiday Period: Freelift offices will be closed from 5.00pm on 22 December to 26 December inclusive, re-opening at 8.30am on Wednesday 27 December. They will be closed for New Year's Day, and open as usual from Tuesday, 2 January 2007.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Stannah 420 straight stairlift launched

Stannah have announced the launch of the 420 straight stairlift. The stairlift is available for us to order as of the 13th November.

The 420 straight stairlift is a direct replacement for the 400. The main difference being that the trailing cable/trolley weight has been removed and replaced with a constant charging system. In addition the 420 will no longer use hard-wired controls but will instead use the new style infrared remote controls.

Development of the Stannah 420 automatic hinge is still ongoing, in the meantime Stannah will continue to sell the 400 hinge using the trailing cable and trolley weight.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bison release Christmas stairlift dates

Bison Bede Stairlifts and Bathlifts
Bison Bede Limited, the stairlift manufacturers, have released the last dates for orders guaranteeing delivery for Christmas 2006. They are as follows:

Curved Lifts - Orders received by 9.00 am on the 18th December

Straight Lifts - Orders received by 20th December

Bathlifts - Orders received by 21st December

Bison 45 Stair Lift
The last date for shipment of Stairlifts & Bathlift orders for delivery before Christmas will be Tuesday 21st December.

Bison have stressed that these dates are subject to the limitations of their manufacturing capacity but if they can keep close to these dates then the delivery times are really quite impressive. We shall wait and see how accurate their claims prove to be.

Find out more about Bison Stairlifts.

Are stairlift prices too high?

Disability Now have written an article on the price of stairlifts and I was asked a few questions over the phone by one of their journalists. Whilst I agree with many of the points raised I would like to clarify one of the quotes attributed to me.

The article quotes me as saying that it costs only £300 or £400 for one of the manufacturers that supply us to make a stairlift. This price is purely based on the cost of the materials used to build a budget stairlift. It does not include the huge cost of running a factory in the UK such as wages, machinery, packaging and transportation not to mention the costs of running offices and a fleet of vehicles. The true cost of manufacturing a budget stairlift is therefore far far higher than £400. It is probably my fault for not making this clearer at the time but I feel that its only fair to the manufacturers that I make the point.

I should also like to make the distinction between the cost of manufacturing a budget stairlift to the cost of making a stairlift at the higher end of the market. For example Stannah Stair Lifts feature many more component parts when compared to a simple budget stairlift. Their emphasis on safety and producing highly engineered, quality products means that their costs will be higher still. This is reflected in the price to the end user.

I would agree with the comments of Jon Stannah, MD of Stannah Stairlifts who says

"We feel that £2,000 for a highly complex technological piece of equipment with an aftercare service which is second to none is actually relatively good value for money."

£2,000 for a straight Stannah stairlift is definitely good value for money. The problem is that some companies are trying to sell lifts at prices far higher than this.

In my opinion one of the main causes of high prices in the private market is the parlous state of the local authority market. It has become a profitless market in many respects. With dozens of companies vying for work, the prices charged to local authorities have plummeted and this has led to some companies hiking their charges to private buyers. It is a worrying trend and until there is consolidation in the industry it is not a trend that will be bucked soon.

Until then it is vital that private buyers do as much research as possible to ensure that they get a good deal. It is also worth pointing out that most companies are reputable and aren't con artists and with a little care taken before placing your order you can get a fantastic deal on a stairlift that may just change your life.