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Ice Equipment Sales & Leasing | Phone: (800) 999-5616

Icesurance Blog - Ice Equipment Sales & Leasing | Phone: (800) 999-5616

Beware of Purchasing Commercial Ice Machines Online

When it comes to getting your next commercial ice machine, do you really, really want reliable post sale service?  Is quick and competent ice machine service an important factor in the purchasing decision? Of course, nearly everyone will respond affirmatively, after all, who wouldn’t want excellent support for a piece of equipment that is so integral to creating a positive customer experience, especially when one considers the overall temper-mentality of commercial ice machines as a food service equipment segment in general.

Yet the facts just do not support this conclusion.  An ever-increasing number of commercial ice machines are purchased through online websites, where the primary driver is price.  There is nearly no other reason that these sites can even exist, as the business model is based on search engine optimization, not product knowledge, not customer support.

These marketing companies own no service vans, employ no refrigeration mechanics, administer no warranty claims and stock no parts.  Oh, and if they did, it probably wouldn’t matter because they DON’T EVEN ANSWER THE PHONE.  Good luck even trying to find a phone number, which has now become the Where’s Waldo of websites.  That’s because it takes people, real carbon based life forms who earn salaries, to talk to customers.

At Icesurance, we answer the phone, and there are no shopping carts on our website.  That’s because when a customer is going to spend thousands of dollars on a commercial ice machine, we believe that he or she is entitled to knowledgeable assistance to review some options and help select a machine that makes the best sense for their specific application and budget.  And we also believe that the same customer is entitled to talk to somebody who is courteous and competent to orchestrate any required service if and when they have a problem with that machine down the road.

So, in conclusion, I’m not a believer in buying ice machines from an electronic collection of programming code that has no ability or desire to process the demand, the operating conditions, and the urgency of repair.  However, one product that is surely made for internet sales is books.  So if you decide to buy an ice machine that may or may not be the right fit, you might want to buy a refrigeration text book as well.  At least the book won’t break down next year.

  • Hoshizaki Ice Machine says:

    Hi Jeff, I think there are some good points in this article, but I think there are also some important considerations as well. For many restaurants, it makes sense the primary drive is price when purchasing an ice machine. Most of these companies already have contracts in place for appliance maintenance, and as such, do not require the seller of ice machines to be responsible for its service. In addition, many ice machines come with extended warranties which include parts and labor. It stands to reason, restaurants like this would simply want to purchase an ice machine online as fast as possible and at the lowest cost. What do you think?

    November 19, 2015 at 9:08 am
    • Jeff says:

      First of all, Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post. It’s certainly an honor to be followed by Hoshizaki. As a matter of fact, I saw a new KM1301SAH3 the other just day, installed, unfortunately, in an alcove, where it could not breathe. If only someone on the selling website had asked the purchaser just a few questions about the ice machine location…So now, the customer has suffered a double whammy: buying a machine that will never work correctly, and getting a bill from the servicer just to give him the bad news, as this circumstance is not covered by the warranty. By the way, the customer didn’t realize that this machine was 3 phase, and also incurred a 500.00 electrician’s bill to bring in the correct power. Oh, I almost forgot, the reason the machine was in the alcove is because the customer assumed the B900SF bin he bought (because the website recommended it for the cuber) was 4” wider than the cuber and wouldn’t fit in the originally intended space. So after buying extra ice all week to make up for production shortages, and putting an exhaust fan in the alcove, bringing in the new power line, and ending up with the ice machine in a different location than intended. Now, I might be taking a little poetic license in relating this story, but as they say in the movies, it is based on real events.

      December 17, 2015 at 11:30 am

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