Questions and Answers
Selecting an elevator maintenance company can be complicated. It is critical that you know the facts and understand the choices available to you before making a decision on which company is going to work for you and your equipment. Many manufacturing companies design and install proprietary equipment, making you depended on them to get timely service and repairs. The company that installs your equipment is not always the best service provider for your system.
What does it mean if proprietary equipment is installed for my system?
Some elevator companies install elevators that run on proprietary computer-based software that require specialized tools that only the manufacturer itself can provide in order to perform maintenance on the elevator. In effect, this locks customers into needing to sign a service contract with the manufacturing company, instead of being able to choose the maintenance provider that best suits them. Though it may be advantageous, at times, to having the manufacturer of the equipment be the one to maintain it, generally you have to pay a premium for it and you have little to no choice in the matter. Other elevator companies may perform the same quality maintenance for the equipment they did not manufacture? and that can save you money and sometimes offer better service in your geographic area.
There are many Independent Elevator Maintenance companies around the country who may often charge less for their maintenance programs and offer the same level of quality service. It is important to research the company’s level of expertise in the field and their ability to provide parts quickly to avoid extended down time.
What type of maintenance plan is right for my elevator(s)?
It is important to understand the difference between Full Maintenance Agreements and Lubrication and Examination Agreements. Basically, the greater level of risk you are willing to take, the lower the cost of the services. Straight Up Elevator Co. is willing to negotiate and tailor each agreement to suit our customers. There are many options out there for you. Here is some basic information to help you understand and determine what might work right for you.
****Watch for roll-over clauses and escalation fees! Many elevator companies hide a roll-over clause with tricky wording in their contracts that hold you responsible for cancelling the contract when it comes to term. If you do not monitor it carefully, you will automatically be signed up for the same term, whether you want it or not, and the price may be completely unreasonable. Many companies try to lock you into lengthy contracts, (i.e. 5-years), which are not required. You should be able to negotiate a term and price that works for you.
Lubrication and Examination (Exam) Agreement
A Lubrication and Exam Agreement includes lubrication of the elevator equipment’s? moving parts and minor adjustments on a regularly scheduled basis. Part repair or replacement and unscheduled service calls, also known as call backs, are not included in this type of agreement. When there is a need for additional services or repairs, the mechanic reports this to the building owner or property manager who then schedules any repairs or services to be paid by the building owner.? While this may be lower cost agreement up front, unforeseen repairs, replacements or call backs can be expensive depending on the age, condition, brand, usage, etc of the elevator. In addition, safety tests may be included in this type of agreement as required by code.
Full Maintenance Agreement
A Full Maintenance Agreement provides all the same services as the Lubrication and Exam Agreement, with the addition of parts repair or replacement and call backs (during normal business hours). Parts that are worn due to normal wear and tear will be replaced at no additional cost to the building owner. Each agreement will be tailored to each elevator and will specify which parts or repairs are included on the agreement. Some exclusions may apply depending on the condition of the equipment prior to entering into an agreement.
After you understand the major differences in the two main types of service agreements and have decided which type will best suit your property, you will need to choose an elevator company that you are comfortable working with.
Questions to Ask Potential Maintenance Providers
Prior to signing any maintenance agreement, we recommend you present the following questions to any service company.
- What is the number of visits over the time of the contract? Example, monthly, quarterly, as needed. (We post this at the top of all out contracts so there is no question how often you will be seeing us for regular service.)
- When does overtime apply under the contract?
- What will the travel time costs be?
- What is the response time for trapped passenger or other emergency calls?
- If scheduled maintenance is missed or incomplete are you entitled to a refund?
- What is the wait time for consumable parts?
- Does this contract roll over automatically at the end of the term if I do not contact you?
?Please contact us today if you have any questions or would like help reviewing your contract.