What’s your first reaction to finding your home burgled?
Make the dreaded call to the police to report a burglary? Call the insurance company? Start thinking about replacing the door?
Whatever your initial reaction, fixing the point of entry will have to be done sometime soon.
When choosing a glazier or door company, in that emotional state, you might just pick the first name that comes to mind.
The name can seem familiar from having seen ads on TV or in the papers, but are the large chains really the best value for money? Or do independent local sellers care more about their customers? This subject is open to debate, but the truth is both suppliers have their pros and cons. It will be up to you to pick an option you are comfortable with.
Take a large, national syndicated security company.
You know, the ones who have the marketing budget to put celebrities in their TV ads and run offers on radio and television. They are usually able to offer a ‘better’, (lower) price due to economies of scale and bulk buying of materials. Our brains also ascribe a level of implied expertise, simply because we seem to ‘see’ them everywhere.
In many cases, they do get the job done.
But the process is often long and can get uncomfortable for the home owner. Many larger firms have a reputation for badgering new prospects, sometimes resorting to bullying to close a sale. The office of the ombudsman is rife with complaints and on many forums, victims’ name and shame these firms.
As they are often based out of town, they simply maintain a pool of ‘independent’ contractors who they sub-contract your job to. They usually don’t have a real idea of how skilled this person is, hence the company makes money, the contractor makes money and you just may be left in the lurch.
Over time, these large firms tend to take over smaller local firms and there isn’t a notice of change of ownership published. It now becomes hard to distinguish between smaller family owned firms and large conglomerates.
Is the prospect of a smaller bill worth a poor job?
A local security company on the other hand, may seem like the best thing since sliced bread. But it’s not always the case. There are crooked cowboy builders and firms who will take your money, (often the cheapest quote) and disappear.
Many local businesses rely on word of mouth referrals for repeat business. This is why they have a major stake in doing a perfect job and leaving you a satisfied customer. Knowing this, ask the firm for local referrals.
They are usually totally upfront about what they can and cannot do as they know the value of word of mouth referrals. Some even offer to do individual windows and doors. This can save you a large bill if you can’t afford to do all your doors and windows at the moment.
They are generally easier to get a hold of too. On calling most local businesses, you’ll be put through to the main office or the mobile phone of the builder. With most national firms, your calls will go through a switchboard and you may end up in a queue when you call; not the best place to be when you are trying to fix a door that has been broken into at 10pm.
Cheapest isn’t best; remember that you get what you pay for. Local businesses have less economies of scale, hence their offerings will be slightly pricier than nationals. Don’t use this as an excuse not to use them. Remember that being local, you have access to them in case of a call out.
Little wonder, respondents to a Which? survey claim to be more satisfied by independent firms than national firms. Do you agree with them? What’s your preference?
Regardless of your eventual choice, use this checklist before making a final decision:
- Ensure they are FENSA registered and are insured.
- Check online forums to find mentions, satisfied customers or complaints.
- Stick to your budget. Don’t be swayed by a sales pitch and end up with what you don’t want or can afford.
Whether you want to reduce your energy bills or keep your loved ones safe, our security doors are great value for money. We’re happy to spend time with you and make sure we get things right. Call SRL Limited today.
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