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Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Water Softener From a Big Box Store

Posted by Discount Water Softeners on Dec 18th 2020

 For a vast majority of shoppers, pricing is the leading factor in choosing where to buy large appliances. Quite often, there’s money to be saved on major purchases when you shop at a big-box retailer. Attractive discounts make it especially enticing to shop at big-box stores like Home Depot, Lowes, or Menards. But do these discounts really pay off for the average consumer, or will you end up with the short end of the stick in the long run? Here are some considerations to help determine if shopping “big” is worth your time. 

shopping cart at warehouse - why you shouldnt buy a water softener at a big box store

Big Box Shopping 

First, expect your shopping experience to be much different than at a smaller retailer. In contrast to smaller, mom and pop stores, customer service is generally not a priority at a big box store. Big sales equal large crowds, long lines, and a lot less help from frazzled employees. For the most part, the few salespeople on the floor are kept busy restocking shelves and darting in and out of back rooms, so they can be hard to pin down. 

Chasing after a staff member to get help or twiddling your thumbs while they help someone else can feel like a giant waste of time. And when you manage to snag an employee, they seldom are appliance experts, and may know very little about the features of products. You’ll need to do your own research before you attempt to make important buying decisions. If you prefer personal attention and knowledgeable assistance, you may want to consider shopping smaller retailers, online or otherwise. 

Secondly, the sheer number of employees at a big box store, combined with off-site customer service support, like out of state call centers, makes getting help when you need it time-consuming and more frustrating than it should be. Some large retailers cut costs with offshore customer service outsourcing, often to the detriment of the consumer, when agents lack cultural knowledge or language fluency necessary for reliable support. 

Next, not everything you purchase at a big-box store will carry a price cut. They often count on shoppers to buy other, unnecessary items with a higher price tag. A smart shopper will look for the real bargains, and won’t get suckered into purchasing add-ons, especially those that aren’t discounted. It’s hard to feel good about getting a great price on the purchase of a large appliance, like a Home Depot or Lowes water softener, when you’ve left the store with less money in your wallet, spent on items you didn’t need. 

Then there’s the matter of appliance delivery. Big box retailers have wide delivery time windows to be scheduled around. They typically offer little in regard to unpacking or installation services, or outsource this service to yet another company, further widening the circle of involved employees should something go wrong. More often, big box retailers won’t even bring a product inside your home, or remove it from the box for liability purposes. 

It Comes Down to Service

Making the decision of where to make the purchase of a large appliance like a  water softener comes down to what type of service you expect to receive. Huge online water treatment companies like Culligan, Kinetico, Rheem or other brand names, will offer better warranties than a big box store, but you’ll pay more for the name. Pre-built softeners from Sears, Lowes, or Home Depot depend on the customer to select the proper size and to set it up to operate efficiently. You’ll get no substantive assistance from a salesperson. Warranties are iffy, and the systems themselves may have shorter lives, depending on water hardness and iron content of the water. 

A full-service, family owned, independent water treatment company like Discount Water Softeners gives you unsurpassed customer service and will install locally, service and support all their products. With no allegiance to one brand, Discount Water Softeners can offer a lot of softener for the money, service what is sold, and offer quality components with outstanding warranties. Whether it’s today, tomorrow, or 10 years down the road, they will back the product they sell and have replacement parts ready to go with one phone call. 

A local dealer with a smaller staff knows the features of their water filtration and water treatment systems, inside and out. They know which are most dependable, and are familiar with service and quality issues, as they generally have long relationships with their customers-- they come to understand which products satisfy, and which don’t. The tips, tricks, and bits of knowledge that local dealers can share is priceless in making important decisions for your home’s water treatment. Knowing that in-house delivery staff is delivering solely water treatment systems means a convenient and complete delivery experience, and less risk to your home and appliances. 

For water treatment experts specializing in the safe delivery and installation of the products they sell, who care about their customers, and respond to them quickly and with professionalism, it’s a simple matter of picking up the phone and calling a small local company like  Discount Water Softeners.

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