Let’s look at the business models that exist for each type of water softener company to get an understanding of why Culligan Water Conditioning of Scotia‘s business model has been designed to best serve your business and family.
Let’s be honest, we’re the most recognized name in water treatment with over 90% market recognition and one of the top 300 most recognizable names in ALL of marketing. So we have a bit of an unfair advantage. Granted our costs are higher for equipment since we have the best quality equipment on the market, however our outstanding value is what makes the difference. With us, you get what you pay for (though that’s not the case with every business).
2. Low Pressure, Low Price
These are the businesses that try to “buy” market share and generally don’t last beyond a few years. Sometimes they can even be your plumber or homebuilder. Often they are a 1-man or less than 5 man operation so their costs are much lower. They don’t need to have a trained water expert and service technicians available 24 hours per day because they do it all themselves. The difficulty with these types of businesses is that once costs go up (insurance, gas, raw materials) or sales slow down (economic down turns for instance) it’s very hard for them to stand behind their warranties. If you want to be sure they’re here for the long term, ask them to rent you the unit. Even if you want to purchase it, it’s always good to hear why they don’t so you can make an educated decision on whether they’ll be around in another 10 years or not. As with any small (less than 5 employees) business, you may want to double-check that they’re fully insured. We have run into some sad situations where competitors in our market have no insurance to cover mistakes they made. Like any business, we’re not perfect either – however we always have adequate insurance just in case.
3. Internet/Hardware Store
These 2 may sound a lot different, but they’re very similar because they offer similar (often even the same) product for the “Do-it-yourselfer”. If you’re that kind of person and you want to install the unit yourself, there’s nothing at all wrong with that. The other trick with these units is that it’s hard to take advantage of a warranty. Like most things you purchase from these stores, you have to take it back. It’s a lot easier just to have your Culligan man come to your home with the correct part and fix it for you. Or better yet, if you invest in the Consumer’s Digest Best Buy Culligan Gold softener (the only softener with that designation) your likelihood of needing the warranty is slim. As the owner of Culligan Water Conditioning of Scotia, I have over 25 years experience in the water industry and at one point a fellow Culligan Dealer sold the general manager of the local branch of a large national hardware store a Culligan softener. As he put it “We have them coming in the back as fast as they go out the front so I don’t want to deal with that.” More importantly, to know you’re getting the correct equipment, you NEED a water test.
4. Sales Blitz Companies
These companies are probably the worst to deal with. They generally mimic the High Price, High Pressure companies described above however they have a fatal flaw – they come into an area with an exit plan in place. In other words, they “blitz” an area with sales for 6, 12, or even 24 months and then they pack up and leave. They then take their “sales machine” to another part of your state or country and start all over again. Call your local Culligan man and he can tell you about the number of people he’s been able to help when these companies leave town. You may want to consider passing on any company that doesn’t have a physical presence in your area OR hasn’t been around for at least a few years. Your water softener should last a LONG time so make sure the business you need to service it will be around as well.