I was poking around on the internet today, looking at other storm shelter company's web sites, something I do regularly to keep up with who's new and what's happening in the industry. And I thought, just out of curiosity, I'd see if anyone is selling storm shelters on Amazon...because you can buy ANYTHING on Amazon. Sure enough, there are storm shelters available on the world's largest on-line retailer, just as I suspected.
A few of the sellers were familiar to me...I've visited their sites before or have met their company representatives. But there was a new one that I hadn't seen before who's advertising and product claims were a little questionable. And I was reminded, again, that there are a lot of storm shelter manufacturers, dealers, and installers out there in the marketplace, and you, the average consumer, have to be very, very careful about what you buy and from whom you buy.
In other words, "Buyer, beware!"
Storm shelter manufacturers and dealers have popped up like mushrooms in the past few years. Many are reputable and honest and sell a great product. But some, like the one I tripped over this afternoon, are so busy trying to make themselves look good that they misrepresent their product and, worse, the products of the competition. This particular company, for example, would like you to believe that a concrete storm shelter, like a Safe Shed, has a lifespan of 4 - 10 years, requires cranes and wide load permits to deliver, routinely suffers from cracking, and has one wall. One wall?! What the heck?
We heard from a person, about a year ago, who thought they'd bought a Safe Shed storm shelter from a company in Oklahoma. They paid 50% of the total price (I think it was about $2,000), and no one delivered a shelter or returned their phone calls after their check was cashed. Understandably, they were pretty upset when they called here. Then we helped them figure out that they had been dealing with an Oklahoma company who uses our name (among several) and sells chicken coops and deer blinds. Clearly not us, although we wondered if they were trying to snag some of our business.
So what's my point? I just want to remind you to be cautious when you're looking at storm shelters for your family. There's serious research you need to do about the company who's selling it to you, and the shelter itself. You need to know that the shelter you choose is going to save your life when severe weather strikes.
There are cheaper shelters than Safe Sheds (though not many). There are smaller and larger shelters than Safe Sheds. There are below ground and other above ground shelters, in-garage shelters, and in-home shelters. Take your time and really dig into what's going in to the shelter you choose. And, for heaven's sake, make sure the company is reputable and isn't going to take several thousand dollars from you and never deliver your chicken coop!
Questions? Give us a call. Or, better yet, hop in your car, load up the family, and take a summer road trip to our manufacturing plant. We'd be happy to have you take a look around to see how we make our storm shelters. Regardless of who you buy from, just remember...buyer, beware!