It’s mostly common sense, based on years of experience (both good and bad) with all the manufacturers. We feel it comes down to the following, in order of importance:
- Quality: What type materials were used, how is it assembled, will it last? As I mentioned in the About section, we have done both warranty and maintenance work on all this equipment for the past 20 years, mostly in institutional (hospital and nursing home) settings. These institutions are the hardest environment for equipment on the planet. Nursing home residents often 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.
After you do maintenance for awhile, you find out what brands and models hold up and which brands you will work on again and again. Invariably, the ones we have problems with are the cheaper items that someone bought trying to save a few dollars. The good ones, the ones we hardly ever work on, are the ones we sell.
- Vendor Customer Service: About once or twice a week, I get a call from someone who bought a scooter, lift chair, paraffin bath, etc., 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. We choose only vendors who provide expert, quick customer service.
- Price: Notice how this isn’t in first place? 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’s always someone out there who will make a product a little worse and sell it a little cheaper. Everyday, I see caregivers buying critical equipment for loved ones, trying to save a few dollars by buying the cheapest.
- Availability: Some companies build great products and give great customer service, but always run out of stock. 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 more often than not. If there’s a delay on anything you order here, rest assured that you will be notified and updated until the product arrives.