How to buy Elevator Service and Maintenance

JW Moore Uncategorized

Finding the right elevator company to service and maintain your elevator system is not a simple process. Therefore, we put together some information from our vantage point that should be helpful in understanding the nuances of what to look for and what to avoid before entering into a contract. This can also be helpful when assessing your existing service.

Elevator Maintenance Cost

  • The investment amount will vary, based on the following factors:
    • The frequency of visits
    • The number of units you have
    • The type of equipment you have
    • Your proximity to other customers
    • Are any replacement parts covered?
    • Is callback service covered?  
    • Is overtime work covered?
    • Is the annual test (required each year) included?
    • If a 5-year test is needed, is that included?

Elevator Maintenance Contracts

  • Types
    • Full Maintenance
      • Should include planned visits – at predetermined intervals (i.e. monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual)
      • Typically includes callback service calls, during normal working hours
      • May or may not include overtime and holiday callback service calls
      • May or may not cover replacement parts
      • Should include the annual test
      • May or may not cover a 5-year test (if needed)
    • Limited Maintenance
      • Should include planned visits – at predetermined intervals (i.e. monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual)
      • Almost never includes callback service calls (at any time)
      • Almost never includes overtime or holiday service calls
      • Almost never covers replacement parts
      • Should include the annual test
      • Almost never covers a 5-year test (if needed)
  • Duration
    • Typically 1 – 10 years (initially) and automatic renewals are extremely common

Elevator Maintenance Contract Termination

  • Often, elevator service contracts are set up for automatic renewal and if the customer intends on not renewing, they must let the service provider know by a specific date (spelled out in the contract).  Typically, that date is 90 days before the renewal date.
    • Some contracts have very specific language that says the customer only has a 30 – 60 day window to cancel an automatic renewal (i.e. not less than 90 days before the renewal, but not more than 150 days before the renewal date).

Contract Exclusions

  • Almost all elevator service contracts have one or many exclusions.  It is important for the customer to understand what is and what is not included within the contract.
  • Examples of what is often excluded are:
    • Service calls because of user error or acts of God
    • Overtime service calls
    • Weekend and holiday service calls
    • 5-year tests (if needed)
    • Major elevator components (varies based on equipment type)
      • Motor
      • Controller
      • Drive system
      • Break

Emergency Callback Service
if this is not included in a maintenance contract 

The customer should make sure they understand the availability of this type of service, the protocol for placing this type of service & the cost (per hour and travel time).

Elevator Repairs 

If all callback service and all replacement parts are not included with the maintenance agreement, then work done outside the scope of the contract will be billable. Repairs often vary in scope, size, and cost.  The customer can request their service provider to give them a quote on a suggested repair and they could also get quotes from other elevator contractors as well. It can get awkward or it could even void your service agreement, if you have a different elevator contractor do work to the elevator.

How to Avoid Poor Elevator Maintenance

  • The customer should make sure they understand the service agreement prior to signing it. If a customer inherits an agreement that is already in place, they should review and request a meeting with the service provider, to make sure they are both in agreement on expectations.
  • The customer should keep track of when the service technicians arrive to do service and someone on site should regularly talk with the service technician to understand what the service technician is seeing and forecasting.
  • By tracking when the technician is there and staying in communication with the technician or office, the customer can verify they are getting the expected service and understand any upcoming adjustments/changes.

In summery, partnering with the right elevator company for your elevator service and maintenance needs can save you time and money while avoiding downtime. We are here to help. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to learn about our unique approach to elevator service and maintenance.

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