Medical Center Supply

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  1. You say you have the lowest prices on equipment, yet when I was looking for a wheelchair & walker, some web sites have products that are cheaper.  Are you the cheapest or not?
  2. Why should I buy from you over the internet, instead of going across town and buying from my local store?
  3. How can you afford to offer free shipping?  Don't you just add it into your price, making us pay for it anyway?
  4. I want to order from you guys, but I don't feel comfortable giving my credit card information over the internet.  Is it really safe?
  5. My local store said I shouldn't buy anything online because if anything needs repair, no one will service it.  Is that true?
  6. How do you go about choosing which equipment you carry in your store?
  7. I bought something that's not listed in your store - does that mean that you think it's not any good?
  8. How do you go about pricing your merchandise?  Do you match others prices if they are lower?  Do you run sales?
  9. Do you ship internationally?
  10. Do you accept Medicare and private insurance?

 

You say you have the lowest prices on equipment, yet when I was looking for a wheelchair & walker, some web sites are cheaper.  Are you the cheapest or not?

Probably not.  We do guarantee that we have the cheapest prices on quality medical equipment.  I don't mean to be critical of some manufacturers (well, I guess I really do - there is some real junk out there...), but we choose the equipment we offer for sale very carefully.  We have repaired literally thousands of wheelchairs, beds, etc, in hospitals, nursing homes, and residences.  That type experience teaches you very quickly what brands and models last under everyday wear and tear, and which don't.  I couldn't count the number of wheelchairs, for example, that I have seen with broken welds, dangerous sharp points sticking up, and flimsy framework.  I like the quote I read from the 19th Century English author, John Ruskin:

  "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse & sell a little cheaper"  

  We have accounts with these characters (only because we have to buy specialized parts from them) that would allow us to buy new equipment; In fact, we could sell this stuff at a much greater markup that what you see on these pages - we just choose not to.

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Why should I buy from you over the internet, instead of going across town and buy from my local store?

You could do that, and if you absolutely must have something that very minute, maybe you should buy it locally.  But if you can wait for a short time, we can save you a considerable amount of money on your purchase, and we will do everything in our power to get you the right equipment for your needs  Sometimes, the store salesperson  might suggest this particular model would be best for you.  What you are left to wonder about, however, is whether that is the model that pays the highest commission, or the model that the manufacturer pays the highest rebate (to the store, of course), or even if it's the only model they stock...

How can you afford to offer free shipping?  Don't you just add it into your price, making us pay for it anyway?

In most cases, no.  One of the reasons we choose the  manufacturers we do is because most offer free shipping to our customers, and we pass that savings on to you.  Invacare, for instance, offers free shipping to all states in the continental US.  That brings up another of my "pet peeves", though:  If these manufacturers offer this to us for our account, they most likely also offer it to our competitors.  Why is it, then, that some of our competitors only offer their customers free shipping over a set amount ($100, $200, etc), and some don't offer free shipping at all??  If they are "taking a cut" off something that doesn't cost them anything, what else are they doing that isn't in their customer's best interests???

I want to order from you guys, but I don't feel comfortable giving my credit card information over the internet.  Is it really safe?

Credit card fraud is something we should all have concerns with.  In fact, all of our personal information (Social Security #'s, passwords, etc) is something we should be very protective of.  In the early stages of the internet, it was a real problem.  Now, however, with SSL (Socket Layer Encryption) and Server Certification (both of which we have), that part of the problem has all but gone away. 

In fact, in my opinion, I am much more worried about someone getting my card information in local purchases.  I'm remembering that teenager with the ring in his nose that disappeared in the back room with my card because his "machine was broken"?  Or the waitress in the restaurant that left the table with my card?  Or that bill that I mailed last week that I wrote my card info on and dropped in the mailbox, to be opened somewhere else by who knows whom?

My local store said I shouldn't buy anything online because if anything needs repair, no one will service it.  Is that true?

We get this question fairly often; It seems that if the local stores can't compete on price and on getting the proper equipment for a customer, they bring out these "scare tactics"...This is not true at all.  We use the manufacturers we do chiefly because they stand behind what they sell.  The manufacturers ultimately are responsible for the cost of service during the warranty period.   In fact, one of our criteria in choosing vendors is their ability to provide nationwide service;   All the manufacturers of our products have a network of service offices to take care of problems if they arise.

This is yet another of my "pet peeves";  when the local store comes to your house to take care of a problem with a new piece of equipment they sold, they invariably imply that because the customer bought it from them, they are taking care of the problem "out of the goodness of their heart..."  Then, they send an invoice for the work they did to the manufacturer.

I say all this assuming that the local store actually has a competent repair department.  Believe me, that isn't always so - our office took care of service work for several local stores because they don't have qualified technicians to do the work.  Also, there is no guarantee that your local store will even be around if you have a problem;  we get calls several times a week from customers looking for their store that has gone out of business.  Something to think about when you hear these stories about how "we will be there to take care of you when these online guys can't"...

How do you go about choosing which equipment you carry in your store?

I would like to say that we use some sort of complicated formula using statistical models, but the truth is that it's mostly common sense, based on years of experience (both good and bad) with the various manufacturers.  Giving it some thought, we feel it comes down to the following, in order of importance:

  1. Quality:  What type materials were used, how is it assembled, will it last?  As I mentioned in the About Us section, we have done both warranty and maintenance work on all this equipment for the past 10 years, mostly in institutional (hospital and nursing home) settings.  For all their qualities, these institutions are the hardest environment for equipment on the planet... Residents in nursing homes, for instance, run wheelchairs into walls and furniture, beds are used 18-24 hours a day, walkers and rollators are used constantly, oxygen concentrators are left on all day and night and banged into by equipment and cleanup crews, etc.  After you do maintenance for awhile, you find out what brands and models hold up and which don't.  You know before you get there which brands you will work on again and again.  Invariably, the ones we have problems with are the "cheaper" items; the ones that made their way halfway across the planet from some Taiwanese  workshop; the ones the administrator or purchasing agent bought trying to save a few dollars.  They did, at least at the beginning, but they are paying for it when we arrive, in parts and labor charges that weren't necessary in models that cost only a few dollars more.  The good ones, the ones we hardly ever work on, are listed on these pages.
  2. Vendor Customer Service:  This you probably would never know unless you are on the "inside". dealing with these folks everyday.  Some make fine products, but if you ever have a warranty problem, Heaven help you... About once or twice a week, I get a call in the office from someone that bought a scooter, lift chair, paraffin bath, etc. that they just bought and can't get any satisfaction.  Either no one is around to service it, or the company they bought it from has gone out of business (believe it or not, medical equipment companies go in and out of business like sandwich shops...), or they got in touch with the manufacturer and they simply don't care.  I know of a company that makes very expensive specialty beds for large people.  The bed is very well made, no problem there.  But when I tried to order a critical part for one that had broken, the parts clerk said they had the part in stock and would ship it in 7-10 business days.  When I complained (very loudly) about this, he said he had been there for years and that was their policy on parts shipments.  If they don't care about their customers any more than that, it is just a matter of time before they go away...
  3. Price:  (Notice how this isn't in first place?)  Now, I need to save money as much as anyone else, but all too often, we don't look at the big picture.  As I said earlier in this section, there is always someone out there who will make a product a little worse and sell it a little cheaper; they can't compete on quality, so price is always where they turn, and all too often, it works.  In the late 1980's and early 1990's, the Yugo was the least expensive car sold in this country.  Yet, it was a colossal failure, and the last ones were imported in 1992.  If it was the cheapest, why aren't all the interstates in America crammed with Yugos?  Because not long after they were first sold, America recognized it for what it was - an American icon of all things cheap (Q. What do you call a Yugo at the top of a big hill? A. A miracle!  Q. What's the most wasteful way to spend money? A. Buy a car alarm for a Yugo.)  Yet everyday, I see caregivers who are buying critical equipment for loved ones try to save a few dollars by buying the cheapest thing to come out of the Taiwanese underworld...
  4. Availability:  Some companies build great products, and give great customer service, but for some reason or another, always run out of stock.  You may order a product and get it in 3 days, or in 3 months.  In all honesty, I'm not always thrilled at the lead times for the products we sell on these pages; I sometimes wonder if they have the same "sense of urgency" that I have.  But I understand that some times of the year are more busy than others, and they ship promptly many more times than not.  If there is a delay on anything you order here, rest assured that you will be notified of any delay, and updated every few days until the product arrives.

I bought something that's not listed in your store - does that mean that you think it's not any good?

Not at all, and I apologize if that's the inference.  Let's say that Miss Alabama wins the Miss America pageant; does that make the other 49 contestants ugly old homebodies that aught to go run and hide?  Of course not; the judges (at least in theory) judged her the "best of the best".  That is the thought process we use when we choose the products we do.  As I have said before, our first criteria is quality, then later comes customer service and the rest.  Your product may be very well made, but at the time we were choosing, another brand might have been better at shipping schedules, warranty service, etc.  That in no way makes your choice a bad one.  In fact, we update our store all the time; six months from now, you may see your brand on these pages instead of the ones on there now.

That brings up another point - If you have found something locally (or Heaven forbid, at another web site...) that you really want, we will be glad to get it for you - and probably at a better price.  Our store here (much like our waistline) is expanding daily, and we need your ideas as to what to add.  Please either E-Mail us or fill out our Product Inquiry form and we will get back to you promptly. 

How do you go about pricing your merchandise?  Do you match others prices if they are lower?  Do you run sales?
We are very much like Wal-Mart (but without the rolling Arkansas hills and the billions of dollars in the bank...)  in our pricing; we list our everyday low price.  In effect, all our products are on sale all the time.  Occasionally, if a manufacturer needs to dispose of a quantity of merchandise, they will offer it to us at a discount, and we will pass that on to you; those sales will usually be on our home page.  As our  price guarantee says, if a competitor's everyday price on an identical item is less than ours, we do everything possible to meet that price.  Sometimes I wonder about our competitors; every once in a while, someone will list a price that is truly unreasonable.  Due to our volume, we can buy merchandise as cheaply as anyone, and some of these guys are selling below their cost, presumably just to get the business.  It's sort of like buying watermelons for $1.00 and selling them for 50 cents, and trying to make it up in volume...  These guys are going out of business, they just don't know it yet.

Do you ship internationally?
Yes, we gladly ship to all countries except those on the USA restricted list.  Most Canadian orders will be shipped either USPS or FexEx, a telephone number will be required for customs.  We can ship larger items overseas, but you need to know and accept what it will cost for shipping the product, and for the extra time it will take to clear customs.  We will inform you before shipment of what the total charges for product and shipment will be.

Do you accept Medicare and private insurance?

The short answer is: no, we don't.  At the prices we charge, we simply can't "jump through the hoops" of paperwork, nor wait for weeks on end to get paid.  If we charged what some of our on-line competitors charge, not to mention the local "brick and mortar" folks, we probably could, but with our volume and markup percentage, it just isn't feasible for us.  We will provide you with a receipt for anything you purchase from us, and you can take that to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Contact Information

Telephone            
Toll Free 888-871-0312 or 615-273-3426
FAX
Toll Free 888-871-2125 or 615-273-3428
Postal address
Medical Center Supply
6999 Craddock Ln
Lascassas, TN 37085
Electronic mail
General Information: msginfo@dtccom.net
Sales: msgsales@dtccom.net
Customer Support: msgsupport@dtccom.net
 
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