Ask before you buy; About the company

Who you buy from is important.  Whether you’re buying a C-Arm or a brand new TV, there are multiple vendors selling either same or similar products.  And the way you go about should be the same.  For example, you can go to Target, Wal-Mart, Sears, and Best buy and get exactly same TV or most electronics.  In most cases, these products are covered by manufacturer’s warranty so it doesn’t matter too much where we buy from.  Or maybe not.  And you probably won’t buy your TV from a guy selling it out of his van, right?

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What if you purchased a TV that breaks on 31st day.  Yes, you’re under manufacturer’s warranty so you can call Samsung, LG, SONY or whichever your TV maker is and get this fixed.  If you got red card or reward zone silver, you can get 60 days to return your product and get a new one or even a different model at BESTBUY or Target.  So… knowing this, (given you had both membership), would you be going to Target or BESTBUY?  Or would you still get it at whoever is lowest price? Perhaps Walmart?  Perhaps you’d rather pay $50 per year membership and shop at COSTCO.

REFURBISHED.  What if the product you’re buying is refurbished?  And it does not have manufacturer’s warranty?  Or what if there’s no manufacturer’s support?  That means the company you’re buying from is last line of your defense.  Would you consider whom you’re buying from now?  When I do research for a customer who’s looking for a modality that isn’t my specialty, my first question to a new vendor is ‘who supports this unit?’  And this is very important question.  [Future Article: Find out why support is important]

TVs are known to not break for years.  Computers usually last 3~5 years without any problems.  Medical Devices are whole different animal.  Most of these devices are built to last as long as it’s well maintained.  Keyword here is maintenance.  Unfortunately we haven’t invented a medical bed they had in ‘Elysium’.  And even if we did, maintenance is probably required periodically in order to keep that functioning as it did in the movie.  Medical Devices are not only prone to more trouble than typical TV or PC but also require regular maintenance to keep it running. (and often times required by law)  So you want a company who CAN support what they sell.

Ask them this.  How many of these do you sell a year?  How do you support these units?  And if something happens to my product tomorrow, what would happen?  And lastly, do you have this unit in stock?  [Read about my do you have this unit in stock to learn why this is a loaded question]

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