You’re buying a premium kitchen appliance for the long haul.
So you need to know which dealer will provide the best experience from purchase through installation and beyond. Where do you start?
Ask your contractor or design pro to recommend dealers who are known for the way they treat their customers. These retailers offer fair prices for quality merchandise. They take proactive steps to avoid installation problems. And they’re committed to solving issues in a timely manner — before and after installation. Got the names? Good. Now it’s time to investigate which dealer offers the best combination of price and service.
UNDERSTAND WHAT THE DEALER'S STICKER PRICE INCLUDES.
Your first question here should be: is the sticker price all-inclusive? (That means it includes product delivery, product installation, and hauling away your old appliances.) If the answer is “yes,” you know exactly what it will cost to put that new appliance in your kitchen. If "no," chances are the dealer either charges a flat fee for delivery, installation, and appliance disposal; or charges separate fees for each service.
COMPARE THE INITIAL COSTS OF DIFFERENT DEALERS
Find out which fees apply and how much they’ll add to the bill. With that information, you can compare dealers fairly when it comes to initial costs. (But you still need to factor in the crucial issues of installation and post-purchase support before you decide – see the following sections for more.)
UNDERSTAND THEIR APPROACH TO APPLIANCE INSTALLATION.
Installing appliances can challenge even seasoned carpenters or remodelers — especially when installation involves removing countertops and/or working with gas lines or plumbing. So when you’re comparing dealers, ask each one this question: “When it comes to installation, what does your dealership do differently than the one down the street?” Ideally, you’ll hear that the dealer:
- Handles installations in-house (rather than farming them out to another company).
- Visits the job site before delivery to make sure appliances will fit their openings and utility hook-ups are properly installed.
- Works directly with a plumber, electrician, cabinet maker, and/or builder to make needed changes — and then confirms everything is ready for delivery and installation.
- Devises a delivery game plan personalized for each home’s specific set of circumstances. That means figuring out which doors and hallways will work best for moving appliances from the driveway into the kitchen, and scheduling the right team and equipment to move heavy appliances across floors.
MAKE SURE POST-PURCHASE SUPPORT LASTS AS LONG AS YOU OWN THE APPLIANCE
You want a dealer who cares about his or her customers long after appliances have been delivered and installed. Investigate these possibilities. Will your dealer:
- Help you learn to use a new appliance’s unfamiliar features and functions? Are free cooking demonstrations and other opportunities for hands-on learning offered in the dealer’s showroom?
- Get personally involved if you have problems with your appliance? Will the dealer’s service manager send out skilled technicians to diagnose and fix those problems fast?