My Thoughts on White Glove Delivery

October 4, 2012
 By Dr. Alan Weidner
October 4, 2012
 By Dr. Alan Weidner

My Thoughts on White Glove Delivery

Today I received an email from the powers that be at Infinite  Therapeutics confronting the issue of White Glove Delivery. I thought I would speak on it a bit today as it is something that can problematic for the customer, the massage chair company, and the retailer. 

All of our massage chairs come with free delivery. Free delivery is shipment of your new chair to your property. Some carriers will drop it off on your property easement, some on your driveway, and some may even put it on your porch or in your garage. Each delivery person is different. 

But, if you want the chair delivered into your home, unpacked, assembled, and then the packing material taken away, then you will want to order White Glove Delivery (WGD).  For us, we charge $199.99. Some sites charge more, some less, but I will tell you that the cost we pay to hire out this service is usually higher than the $199.99.

I would have to say that during my 8+ years in this massage chair business, the greatest source of frustration and bewilderment is the shipping service. The chairs are wonderful, we the retailers try to be wonderful, but if there is ever a problem with a new chair it has nothing to do with us and everything to do with the shipment and delivery. Although most deliveries go without a hitch, if there is going to be a problem at all…I can almost guarantee that it is going to originate from shipping issues.

Regular curbside or threshold delivery is usually pretty cut-and-dried, although there are problems there too. But, it is the WGD where we see most of our problems. On paper, WGD sounds awesome! But, when the rubber hits the road and you’ve got a chair being delivered and setup in your home, there are a few things you need to be aware of:

1. The delivery folks have probably never set up your particular chair model before. That’s right…they know about as much about setting up the dang thing as you do. Therein lies the rub…you could probably set up the chair as well or better than the actual delivery folks. They are supposed to have been given instructions and a checklist to know how to set it up, but when the moment of assembly arrives, they are about as clueless and you are with the instructions in your hands.

Having said that, I would suggest to you that assembling these chairs is not rocket science. Even I can do it…and if I can do it, I tell you  in all solemnity that you can do it too. If you can just get someone to help you lift the heavy box into your home and take it out of the box, you can do the assembly…of that I am sure.

2. Just because the WGD folks assemble the chair does not imply that they know anything about the chair or how it functions. You cannot count on them to educate you about the chair or to be able to test it to see if it is assembled andor working correctly. That is something you will have to do. Which leads to the 3rd and final point…

3. The only way to find out if everything was set up properly, other than the exterior appearance (“It looks about right!”), you will have to spend some quality time using the chair and becoming familiar with it after the WGD folks leave. Most likely everything is working fine, but you may find that an airbag is not inflating or deflating. Or you may feel that the rollers aren’t working right. That is the time you want to call the massage chair company and they can walk you through things over the phone. If there was a problem with the setup, the massage chair company rep can figure it out with you over the phone.

If you can get help moving the chair into your house or apartment and then have help taking it out of the box(es), you are probably the best qualified to put the chair together since you have the greatest vested interest in the successful assembly of your new massage chair, plus you’ll save a couple hundred bucks.

I would recommend doing it yourself. Exceptions to that rule might be elderly folks who need it all done for them or, of course, those who want absolutely nothing to do with the whole process, regardless. Then, by all means, go for it! But, just know that the WGD guys (and gals) are not experts on your chair model. They will just do the work, as you would do, according to what is written in the user manuel…and hopefully the chair is just fine when they are done.

Now, after having said all of this, I want to reiterate that these problems do not happen very often, but when they do it just seems like a mess. No worries!! I haven’t seen a messed up delivery that wasn’t remedied. Everything always works out. It just may take some time to work it all out.

Dr. Alan Weidner 

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