When everything goes well, buying a massage chair can be a splendid, stress-free experience. But, if not, it can be quite a bother. From my 10+ years in the business, I can tell you that most of the problems that arise in the massage chair buying process has to do with shipping!
Long haul freight shipping is an amazing service. What would we do without it? Most, if not all, of our groceries, consumer products, building materials, etc., are moved by freight trucks. We rely on them more than we sometimes realize. We are so used to everything being where we want it to be that we sometimes forget that it is truckers that make our economy move. If there is a break in the logistics channel, all heck would break loose. I’ve often thought that if all the truckers were to stop doing what they do, we’d be out of food in a matter of days, if not hours. We need freight movers!!
Having said that, no one is perfect and hiccups do occur that make us very much aware of our dependency on these people, companies, and protocols. I have seen this quite evident in our industry. I would have to say that 99% of the problems our customers encounter, and that we hear about, have to do with the performance of the people delivering our chairs. I have got some stories that would make your head spin, but I won’t go into them here because I don’t want to discourage you from getting a massage chair!
But, I can say that more things can go wrong from the warehouse to your front door than you can imagine. Here are a few things to be aware of:
1. The shippers are outsourced by the massage chair companies.
2. The shippers are a 3rd party that has it’s own agendas, problems, staff, and hoops to jump through.
3. If the shipping company says they are going to deliver a chair on such-and-such a date and time, and they don’t…we can call them and complain, but ultimately they will get to it when they can get to it.
4. When the shipping company calls you to schedule a delivery time, they will give you a window of time in which they plan on coming, i.e. 12-3 or 2-5, for example. You may have to take time off work to meet them during that window of time. Most shipping companies will get there during that time, but sometimes it won’t happen. It can be exceedingly frustrating. I have waited many times over the years for chairs to be delivered to our showroom and not getting those chairs until an hour or two after said time.
It must also be said that sometimes they may even show up earlier than said time…which is awesome when it happens!
5. Standard delivery is also called curbside delivery for most companies. For most massage chair companies, that delivery time is about a week from the time the chair leaves the warehouse, which is usually the day of ordering or the next day. Exceptions to that rule would be:
- Back ordered stock
- Panasonic chairs – it usually takes a few days for them to process the paperwork and finally get the chair to the dock to be picked up by the shippers
- Luraco chairs – Luraco assembles each chair as it is ordered. Then it is quality control tested before it is packed up and leaves the warehouse. That can take up to a week before it is ready to leave.
- White Glove Delivery – tack on another week to your delivery time when you order white glove. Why is that? Because the freight company will ship the chair to a terminal in your area within a week, as mentioned above, but then it is handed off to a local delivery company who will perform the white glove delivery and assembly. That usually takes another week.
- Lost chairs – yes, this has occasionally happened in all the years I’ve been in this biz. Very frustrating for everyone concerned, even the shipping company. How do you lose a 300 lb chair? Well, it happens and will delay receipt of your chair.
- No-show delivery – if the delivery guys don’t show up during the time window agreed upon by the both of you, it will take at least another day for you to get your chair
- Living in the boonies – if you live a long, long way away from the terminal where your chair is kept, it can take extra days to get your chair. Why? Because most delivery companies only go to the boonies once or twice a week. So, you won’t get any preferential treatment because you spent $5000 on a chair. You will get your chair when they travel out to your town or rural community. I totally understand that from a cost-conscious businessman’s perspective, but it is still frustrating when you know your chair is sitting at the local terminal but won’t leave for another week.
I haven’t even touched on the problems with white glove delivery, which can add a little stress to the shipping and delivery experience. Here a few things you should know about White Glove Delivery:
- Surprise! But the persons delivering and assembling your chair may never have set one up before. So, if you are expecting quick assembly and a tutorial on how to use your chair, you may be very, very disappointed.
- Some minor damage to your walls or carpet – sometimes a wall gets scuffed or a carpet gets stained. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it is quite a bother.
- Your delivery guys may not be all warm and friendly – they are there to do a job and were not hired for their personality. They may even be gruff and a little rude, in your estimation. Well, that may be the case, but if they do a good job with the assembly, that can be forgiven!
- Make sure you’ve got everything – when the assembly is complete and the delivery guys are packing up the boxes to take them away, make sure you have all the parts and manuals and paperwork that came with the chair. And, if you think there is a possibility of you wanting to return your chair, KEEP THE BOXES. The white glove guys are told to take all the packaging back with them when they are done. You will need to ask them to leave the packaging if you think you might want to return the chair.
- If you don’t keep the packaging and you want to return the chair, your shipping costs will be quite a bit higher than a chair packaged in it’s original material.
Well, that about does it for my article on shipping. Thanks heavens for logistics…but hang in there if things don’t go exactly according to plan.
Dr. Alan Weidner
P.S. Give us a “Like”, “Share”, or “+1” and leave me a comment or question below to share what you learned or ask any questions, so other folks can benefit from this material.