Your business’ inflatable equipment is not only a major financial investment; it is also your livelihood and an important, if not critical, source of your income. Damage to your equipment can cause your business to suffer significantly, both in lost business during the time the equipment is out of service to the actual cost for necessary repairs.
While you and your staff may be following all inflatable safety guidelines to the letter, when you leave equipment in the hands of a customer you have little control over how they will treat your products. However, you do have a few options in the event that your equipment is returned damaged by a customer.
Many times it is advisable to simply accept the fact that accidents do happen and release your customer from any payment of damages caused by accidental events. Many inflatable companies assume that if the equipment is being used properly and all inflatable guidelines and rules are being followed properly, the customer cannot be held at fault for any damage that may occur. This type of understanding will go a long way in establishing a relationship with your customer and building confidence in your business.
Some inflatable companies offer a damage waiver fee to customers. This fee is generally somewhere around 10% of the rental fee. The customer will pay this up front to cover any liability resulting from accidental damage to the rental equipment. Generally exclusions to this do apply, including intentional damage or misuse, rips or tears from sharp objects, or theft. This type of insurance will protect your products from accidental damage, while also making your customers feel more protected.
It may occur that you do find that your inflatable equipment was not properly handled by the customer, or even that it was maliciously damaged. In this case you should hold the customer responsible for the damage. This type of unfortunate scenario should always be written into the fine print of each customer’s contract to protect your company and your equipment. The customer will then be liable for all damages and the resulting expenses.
Of course in some cases it may be difficult to prove whether damage to the equipment was accidental or from misuse. While some instances may be obvious, such as sharp jagged rips or tears in the equipment or animal damage, often a little investigative work may be necessary. Examine your equipment carefully after each event. Make note of any damage and photograph this for documentation purposes.
In most situations your clients will treat your inflatable equipment with care and take due diligence in following the usage guidelines that you lay before them. Make sure you provide them with this information both verbally, as well as written. It is also advisable to have the customer sign a form listing that they understand the rules for using the equipment and agree to adhere to them.
Keeping your inflatable equipment safe from damage will ultimately save you money, hassle and animosity toward customers.