December 19, 2012 by EH Staff
8. What is the warranty period on materials and workmanship and how is service is expedited?
No one wants to imagine that any part of their fancy new custom installation will fail, but preparing for the worst case scenario today might spare you some fretful hours tomorrow. How long should you expect the dealer to stand behind his work? What is the procedure should the need for a service call arise? And the promptness of a repair/replacement visit is one of the distinguishing factors between a good integrator and a great one.
9. Does the integrator offer extended service agreements and/or system maintenance contracts?
Find out how long the standard protection lasts on your new home system, and then ask if extended coverage is available either through the dealer or the manufacturer. System maintenance contracts are also worth investigating, a sort of “umbrella policy” against a multitude of potential misfortunes. Again, here’s hoping you never need to take advantage of it, but a small investment now can bring priceless peace of mind down the road.
10. Does the integrator have a project manager who will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the project?
Having a single contact, a “point man” to oversee the project and all of the stakeholders involved, will drastically reduce any confusion during the execution of the installation. Have a question? A complaint? A new idea? Find out who your go-to-guy is, then program his number in your phone.
11. Who are the vendor partners that the integrator works with and how long has the integrator been a dealer of those proposed vendors?
We can infer a certain confidence from the brands and products that an integrator provides, as they are typically well-researched and backed by solid guarantees and reliable service from the manufacturer. And because the level of support that a vendor/manufacturer provides to the integrator will directly impact the integrator’s ability to support the client, assurances of a strong working relationship “behind the scenes” can go a long way to maintaining total customer satisfaction.
12. How long will it take to fully complete the job?
While a finished product on the scale of The Sistine Chapel would be swell, hopefully no one will be writing a book entitled The Agony and the Ecstasy based upon your home integration experience. Everyone who has ever undertaken a large home project has wondered, “When will they be done and out of here?” This is your turf, so you have every right to be involved in setting the deadlines and enforcing them. Go in with a reasonable timeline in mind, but be prepared to adjust those expectations: Exceptional electronic home systems, much like a certain Italian capital, aren’t built in a day.
Special thanks to Brian Perreault of Barrett’s Technology Solutions for his generous wisdom.
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