We do our best to make shopping on our site a simple process. You can order in five easy ways:
- Order Online: Use your Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express safely on our secure order page.
- By Telephone: To charge to your credit card, call us toll free at 888-871-0312 or 615-273-3426.
- By Fax: Print the order form from your web browser (select Print from the File menu) and fax it toll free to 888-871-2125 or to 615-273-3428.
- Mail Order: Print the order form from your web browser (select Print from the File menu) and mail the form to: Medical Center Supply, 6999 Craddock Ln, Lascassas, TN 37085
- Open Account (Government agencies only, please): Call us toll free at 888-871-0312, or at 615-273-3726 and we will establish your account and take your order.
We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards, most bank debit cards, money orders, and cashier’s checks. We also take cashiers checks and money orders. No personal checks; after being burned one too many times, we have no choice – “the innocent suffer from the deeds of the few”…. We don’t ship COD anymore, for the same reason as personal checks above; there is just nothing like shipping something and then a week later getting a notice from the bank saying that the check we received was written on a closed account….
Shipping and Delivery
Our folks electronically process orders throughout the day to give you the fastest service possible. Ninety five percent of parts orders are shipped from our warehouse in Tennessee. We can’t promise exactly when you will receive an order; what we can promise is that we will follow up on your order until you receive it. It is someone’s job in our office every day to follow up on all open orders until they are received, and to keep you informed as to the status.
Shipping is always free in the continental U.S. (except for some Special Orders). We do international shipping to most locations; please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will figure rates, approximate shipping times, etc.
The short answer is: whatever the individual manufacturer provides. We have tried to relay the warranty information with each product description; if we have missed one, please call or E-Mail and we will get you the information or fax you a copy of the warranty. Each product will have a warranty card included with the shipment; it is very important to get that filled out and mailed back to the manufacturer. If there is ever a problem with something you purchased from us, please let us know – we want to hear from you so we can help. Many times, we can relay some information on the telephone or E-Mail that can solve the problem.
Our normal warranty on electrical parts (motors, transformers, etc.) is six months; this means if the motor burns out within six months of receiving it, we will replace it at no charge (we don’t cover the return shipping charge). However, if a part of the motor breaks (plastic connector, clevis mount, spindle nut, etc.), that part is not covered by the warranty. Please see below for specific part warranties:
- Hand Controls: We can only warranty hand controls on lift chairs and beds for 30 days… Because of the potential for damage and abuse by end users, the manufacturers do not give us any warranty on the controls we purchase from them; we don’t think that is fair, especially considering what some of these controls cost, so we extend the warranty for 30 days on our own. In fact, we may have to stop that in the future, as some customers are very hard on their controls, and a hand control is only one hard drop on the floor from not working (yes, I know that you will tell me that your control was cradled in your loved ones loving hands from the time you received it until now (except for all the times it was dropped, stepped on, spilled on, etc.)). We have several customers who buy controls 2-3 at a time because they are so hard of them…
- “Expendable” Parts: Examples of these are Dewert clevis mounts and spindle nuts, Okin spindle nuts, plastic connectors, BetaDrive moving blocks, Hubbell gear sets… These type parts carry no warranty after installation. Even though many of these parts are made of plastic or composite materials, these parts don’t break unless there is a reason for it… Usually, they break because the chair got too close to the wall, and the person using the chair isn’t aware of it, so they hold the button down on the hand control, and “something has to give”… Another reason is that the chair is overloaded with weight, or that there is a frame or scissor mechanism problem that gets the chair in a bind, and again, something has to give… Just changing a part, without fixing the underlying cause, will assure that the part breaks again…
You’ve seen our “Handshake Guarantee” on our pages; we believe in that. We do feel most folks are honest, and they wouldn’t ask us to take something back unless it was really necessary. All we ask is that you treat us like you would want to be treated if you were in our place. The following are our thoughts, and the reasoning behind them.
Retail stores have taught a whole generation of consumers that it is OK to buy three sizes and bring two back rather than take the time to try them on in the store. That may get customer satisfaction, but it is very wasteful and costly. If we had the wild markups those stores do, we could do that also. But if we want to keep offering the prices we do (or just to continue to stay in business, for that matter), we can’t do that. Please let me emphasize that our goal is not to make money on returns – just not to lose money.
We will accept returns on most products or parts within 30 days of receipt (NOTE: for products that are non-returnable, please see below), as long as they are in unused, original condition, with all original packaging, components, instructions, and warranty materials. In other words, if it can be resold as new, we will take it back. You pay the return shipping charges and our cost of shipping the product to you (if applicable).
We cannot accept returns on merchandise items that have been used, or on repair parts that have been installed. All returns will be closely inspected for use; I have been in the service business a long time (experience is one of the few advantages of getting old…), so please don’t send a repair part back to me saying that “it didn’t fit” or that it was the “wrong part”, and thinking that I won’t know if you physically installed it on the chair or bed – believe me, I will know; it is almost impossible to put an electrical part on and it not leave telltale markings on the part. Just plugging in a hand control or transformer to see if that is the problem is OK; what you can’t do is put a switch in a hand control, or physically install a motor on a chair without leaving marks on the part; when that is done, it looks like a used part – because it is. “But I only put it on for a minute”, you say… On for a minute, on for a week, it doesn’t matter – the part will still look used to the next person that gets is…You wouldn’t want to receive a part that has been used, so why would you expect us to take one back?
How much will you get back? Well, it depends on what products you have purchased. Nearly all the manufacturers we deal with have restocking fees on returned equipment. At our pricing structure, we simply cannot afford to absorb these fees. But we also won’t charge you any more than they charge us. Listed below are the restocking fees we must charge:
- Repair Parts: Please see the Repair Parts section below for a full explanation.
- Invacare products: This company, as well-made and dependable as their products are, has a flat 25% restock charge on anything that leaves their warehouses.
- Ramps: All new products have a 15% restock charge. Items that show any use whatsoever are not eligible for returns.
- Sterilizers: New sterilizers can be returned for a restocking charge of 20%.
- Ultrasonic Cleaners: New, unused ultrasonic cleaners have a 25% restock charge.
- Scales: New, unused scales may be returned for 20% restock charge.
- Paraffin Baths: May be returned in new condition with a 20% restocking charge.
- Standing/Sitting Aids: May only be returned if in new, uninstalled condition within 15 days of purchase with a 20% restocking charge.
Returnable Repair Parts
When we started business many years ago, we never charged restocking fees on new, uninstalled repair parts returns; we always felt that customers that have a legitimate problem with their lift chairs and hospital beds have enough problems without having to pay so much if they have to return a part they never used. In the past few months, however, our good intentions have been taken advantage of by a few customers who (on purpose or not) seem to be intent on getting something for nothing… Consequently, in certain cases listed below, we must now charge a small restocking charge to recover our expenses on certain transactions listed below:
- Parts Exchanges: In spite of all your efforts at troubleshooting, there will be times when a problem is mis-diagnosed and an incorrect part is ordered. As long as you reorder another part to complete the repair (even if the second parts order is for a lesser amount than the first), we will not charge a restocking charge, as long as the first part ordered was not physically installed on the chair. We will only charge what our costs were to ship the part to you. The exception to this would be if we get a part back that we have to repack to be able to resell (please see “Parts Restocking Fees” in note # 4 below).
- Straight Parts Returns: If you order a repair part, then decide to return it without buying another part (in other words, if the return results in a net “no sale” to us), we will charge a 15-25% restocking fee for that return, as well as our cost to ship the part to you (please see # 4 below for more explanation). A recent example: a customer told me that “I want to try a new hand control; if that doesn’t fix it, I will return it and buy me a new lift chair”. That’s fine, but we are stuck with the cost of the packing materials that we can’t reuse, the credit card processing costs (both for the sale and the return), and the labor to both pack the original order and to handle the return; we just can’t absorb those costs anymore; its not fair to us or the other customers we have to pass those costs on to to be able to stay in business.
- Partial Order Returns: We try our best to be helpful to folks in determining what parts they may need for repairs; we even volunteer to check their lift chair systems for no labor charge if they send them to us (and they agree to pay the return shipping). We offer complete motor systems at a discount to customers that have old systems that they just want to replace everything on so they won’t have future problems, or that just don’t want to go through all the troubleshooting needed to diagnose the problem. But we have recently had several folks that ordered the complete lift systems, then call us a few days later and want to return the parts in the kits that “were not needed…”. We also have had more and more folks that want us to send every part that might be the problem, and then they will swap the parts out until they find out what’s wrong and then return the rest. As mentioned above, that may work in a ladies dress shop, where you buy four dresses, take them home to try on, and keep one and return the other three… They can do that, I guess, because they have such a high markup that they can absorb that expense, but we don’t have that luxury… If you want to return a partial order, we will charge a 25% restocking fee on the full single item price of all parts returned, as well as our cost to ship the original order to you.
- Parts Restocking Fees: If we receive the part back in the original wrapping or box, in the identical condition that it was sent from our warehouse, so that all we have to do is sit it back on the shelf, the restocking fee will be 15%. If the part comes back with the wrapping or box torn or missing, wires not tied up the way it originally was sent, etc, so that we have to repack the part in order to resell it, the restocking fee will be from 20% to 25%. If it can’t be repacked to make it resellable, the part will be returned to you with no credit issued.
- Special Orders: For special order parts, it depends on where the part comes from, but normally, uninstalled parts can be returned – we will charge whatever restock charge our sources require. Usually, that runs from 15% to 25%, depending on the source. But we also won’t charge you any more than they charge us. After we receive credit from the source, then we will issue the credit back to you.
- Shipping Returns Back: You can ship parts back using whatever shipping service you prefer. HOWEVER, Please get a tracking number when you ship, and insure the shipment. We cannot be responsible if the package gets lost in shipment (it happens more than you realize), or if it gets damaged in shipment.
We could do like most of our competitors and simply refuse to accept returns on any parts, or if they do take returns, they charge up to 35% restocking fees; as we have stated above, our goal is not to make money on returns – just not to lose money. Also, we pay the shipping on most all parts orders, but of course that shipping was not “free”; if you return any part to us, we will deduct our cost of shipping from the price you paid for the parts when we process the refund. Again, our goal is simply not to lose money on returns.
Please email us at email@example.com or call our toll free number 888-871-0312 and request a Return Authorization (RA) number, and we will let you know how and where to return the item. The RA number also helps us track the return and speed your refund to you. It is hard to determine exactly how long it will take to get your refund, as we have to receive and inspect the item before we can determine its condition. PLEASE don’t call us the day after the tracking shows that we received the part and ask where your credit is; we normally process returns on the weekends every other week (we refuse to stop shipping parts orders out in order to do returns). Once we process the return, we will refund you in the same manner as you paid for the item (credit on a credit card, check mailed for check paid, etc.).
- Bathroom products (commode/shower chairs, shower wheelchairs, transfer benches, commodes, etc.) that have been used cannot be accepted for return; I think anyone can understand why.
- Repair parts that have been marked up, scratched, etc., and electrical parts that have been installed cannot be returned; our parts sources won’t take parts back that have been installed for any reason.
Most of our products ship free within the continental United States. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t cost anyone anything (actually, we should say “shipping included” – anyone who believes that shipping is “free” please stand up…). If you return a product within the guidelines above, and we refund you the total amount that the manufacturer gives us, that still leaves the shipping charges that we absorbed in getting the product to you; we ask that in addition to your paying the return shipping charges, we will deduct our original shipping charges to get the product to you. If we shipped the wrong product, we will either credit your expense to return the item, or we will have the carrier pick up the item. As mentioned earlier, our goal is simply not to lose money on returns.
We have calls and e-mails every so often questioning just why we go into all this detail on returns, like we are expecting this to be a problem. They even mention that “other web sites don’t tell us all this”. I think that is the real problem; they just don’t tell you. When a problem occurs, then you find out what their real policies are. A favorite trick is to claim not to charge any restocking fee, EXCEPT for “SPECIAL ORDER” merchandise – then when you try to return something, you find that WHATEVER you ordered seems to be SPECIAL ORDER!! There are not many other businesses that buy more from Invacare than we do, and they still charge us 25% on anything they ship that is returned. If they charge us that amount, they are certainly charging our competitors the same amount. If they don’t tell you upfront that they have to pass that cost on to you, they certainly will when you ask to return something! If they don’t, then they are slowly going out of business; they just don’t know it yet! We just thought it more fair to tell you upfront. If you have any question specific to your situation that aren’t addressed here, please e-mail us and we will do our best to help.
Since we are based in Tennessee, all applicable sales tax will be added for Tennessee residents (we agree, they don’t deserve it, but I am just a little guy…). If you are located in Tennessee and are tax exempt, please fax us a copy of your exemption certificate or certificate of resale the same day you send in your order. Out of state orders are tax exempt.
This one is easy. We care about you and your privacy, and we will never, under any circumstances give, sell, or trade your personal information with anyone. Your information is for our internal and shipping use only. We may, from time to time, send you an e-mail letting you know of new products or services you may be interested in, but if you reply back to us requesting to be off our list, you won’t hear from us again. We get plenty of junk mail ourselves, and we won’t add to yours to make a few dollars by selling information. In short, if someone sends you junk correspondence, you can be assured that they didn’t hear about you from us!!