Why should you consider renting over an outright purchase?
There are many pros and cons when it comes to renting water coolers. With many companies now offering a rental option rather than a purchase outright, it's important to know what to look for with your preferred rental company and what is included in your simple monthly fee.
Price is always a consideration, but with many rental providers on the market, there are many other factors which should be part of your decision when choosing the right rental company for you.
Renting water coolers or any drinking system is a great option for many offices, schools, universities and medical professions;
- Frees up cash flow up front
- Regular easy monthly payments that don't change
- Regular maintenance and filter changes you don't need to worry about
- No costly replacement of systems in the event of faults or product break downs
- You don't get stuck with a system in the event of business changes
As it frees up cash flow to allow you to do other priority things with your money, often a rental option simply makes sense. This is particularly important when you are looking to install multiple systems in one location such as a large office, school or university, or if you're a medical centre or business with multiple locations. It's all managed from one source allowing you to concentrate on what you do best.
What should I look for in my rental contract?
It's important to read between the lines and really understand what you are signing up for. Consider things like;
- Rental contract term
- On call maintenance
- Get out of contract options
- Filtration quality
- Regular service frequency
Many rental companies reel you in simply on price. A small attractive monthly fee or even "first three months free", is often a lure to get you on board and not to look elsewhere. Like many offers out there, the same old adage can be said "if it's too good to be true, it usually is". Make sure you check out how long the price guarantee is for as you may be caught out with surging price hikes after your initial contract has expired.
Some rental companies believe that once they have you signed up, it will just be too much of a task for you to look elsewhere and they will capitalise on you from then. Don't be caught out.
On call maintenance
Choosing a smaller reputable company which has been around a long time, like The Water People, ensures you get the service you signed up for in the first place. There are some rental companies who make all the right promises from the get go but fail to deliver on them down the track, leaving you frustrated and feeling undervalued.
A water cooler may seem like a simple necessity, but not having your water cooler serviced quickly in the event of a break down can become a serious problem. Your water cooler is an important fixture in your business, and a break down can leave your staff reeling and interrupt your everyday business activities. Who needs the hassle right?
The right water cooler rental company should offer you free maintenance call outs in the event of a breakdown and even replace the system for you, so you don't have any down time. This should be included in your monthly fee. Finally, how quickly they can get there is another critical consideration as you don't want to be left waiting and without water for long periods of time.
Installation and relocation
Will your rental company install your new system for you, and disconnect your old system if you are replacing another brand? Is it free of charge or is this an extra cost on top of the attractive monthly fee? And, what happens if you move location mid way through your contract and wish to move it? What are the relocation fees?
Some companies see these situations as money making opportunities to further capitalise on you. Make sure this is all inclusive up front before signing your contract.
Get out of contract options
Life changes for all of us, and there could be unforeseen events which may require you to end your rental contract. What are your payout options or in fact are there any? Or are you simply required to pay out the remainder of your contract regardless of what is remaining in it?
Dealing with a smaller, personable rental company like The Water People means you are dealing with individuals who care and understand any situation, and offer the flexibility of a "get out" clause if the need arises. Make sure you find out what this is so in the event of a sudden change in your business you're not left dishing out wads of cash for something you no longer use.
How many filters are included in your system and what type of quality filtration is your system providing your staff or customers? Water quality differs between cities and towns throughout Australia, and a filtration system which is great for one city may not necessarily suit another. Many national rental companies simply do not adhere to this and offer a "one size fits all" solution regardless of where you are located.
In Melbourne, for example, there is a much higher sediment concentration in the water than in Sydney, and in Perth the water is quite "hard". No one system fits all, so it's important your system has the right filters for you. Many rental companies keep their costs down by just adding one single filter, so your business is more profitable to them. See what you are getting, it's not just about the look of the water filter, what sits behind it is a critical factor to consider.
Regular service and filter changes
A rental company makes money by keeping their costs down, and this often compromises the service you get. The vast majority will only offer you a once yearly service and filter change, and that's it. One year is a long time between drinks, and I shudder to think of what the water quality is like after six months of usage, particularly in a high usage environment.
Make sure your rental company offers at least twice yearly servicing and they are in fact changing the filters every six months. What you don't know, you don't know and what you drink is critical to your health and the health of your staff and building occupants. If they do offer twice yearly servicing and filter changes, is it included or is there an extra cost for this?
Like anything, it's important to do the research and know what you're getting into. Ask for customer testimonials or if your provider will give you a contact you can call to find out for yourself. If they can't, then this may be a big red flag.
Keep an open mind and make sure, as you should before you sign anything, you really know what you're getting and you're not just lured into a price promotion. Water health is critical and not something worth compromising on.