Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Looking for a "cheap" bounce house?

Looking for a "cheap" bounce house?

Beware of the "cheapest companies in town" there is a reason they are considerably cheaper...consider:

  • Cleaning
When researching who you will use for your Bounce House Rental this season, consider what the company cleaning practices are.   It's important that you check out the reviews the company has been giving and specifically look for reviews that refer to whether or not the company has clean or dirty equipment.  There are companies that are very careless in running their business, starting with the hygiene factor.  The Inflatables are made of vinyl therefore it needs to be cleaned but also disinfected with a special product that offers both of those options.  With that said any company can tell you they clean, but what do their customers say? 

  • Safety
It's important to ask basic questions such as:

1.  How many kids does the inflatable that you are interested in accommodate?

Does the company know this for their basic inflatable units and have this information on file to look up,  pretty clearly showing you, that they know the capacity of all of their units?  They should at the very least have this available to look up and have an answer on that in just a few minutes.  (This is with the exception of a new unit maybe they need to lookup.)  3 Monkeys Inflatable not only has this on file on our website, online for our reference, but also in our operation instruction sheet we provide to each and every rental at the time of setup.  

2.  Do you have safety rules for the inflatable?  

Is the company able to provide you with rules on the day of the event?  Are they asking for your sign-off that they explained these rules to you?  Again this is important because you as the customer are responsible for making sure those rules are followed as they are most times not only company rules and policies but state guidelines that both the company and the renter must follow to ensure they are safe operating the rental attraction.    3 Monkeys as a local industry leader has always since day one created a safety rules sheet that we provide to our customers at the time of setup after we review and leave that copy with them for the extent of their event.  

3.  Does the company have a phone # to call while your unit is at your location in the event of an emergency or question?

Are they able to provide you with a phone # or emergency # to call while you have one of their rentals on location?  What is their protocol for emergencies?  3 Monkeys is your partner in making sure your event is perfect...that's why we ensure that we have safety contact numbers for you to contact us if you are unsure of anything.  As most of you know if you are our customers we will contact you if there is any weather change/risk to your participants as your safety is our #1 goal.  

4.  Is the company registered in the state?

Can they give you evidence to show they are registered with the state?  Can they supply you with a phone # to verify this?  Do they caution you on using someone not registered?    This is important as you can be shut down by the state in both PA and MD which is where we operate out of if your event was not registered with the state and the company you are using is not registered with the state.  Working with someone who is registered does give another layer of peace of mind knowing the company was given the standards for state/manufacture guidelines and the hope is they are following those guidelines.  

5.  Does the company carry liability insurance?

Is the company able to email you a copy of their policy to show they are insured?  Often you can verify this simply by finding out if they are registered with the state.  In some states (like PA) you are required to send your Insurance Policy to the Department of Agriculture to ensure you have a minimum of $1 Million Dollar Policy.  This has to be on file each year with PA.  You can be assured if the company you are using is registered in PA they are also valid on their Insurance Certificate.  However, keep in mind just like anything you may want to call just because they were registered one year doesn't mean they re-registered the new year...In PA they do send you current year stickers to the company so if you are renting and they do have the current year stickers it does indicate that they are registered and current with the state.  

6.  Is the units inspected regularly?

Again in PA, they do require regular inspections.  Once again, if they are registered with PA, they are required and have the oversight of the Dept. of Ag to make sure they are fully inspected.  We keep track of our inspections both online and on the unit details so that we can ensure all of our units have been inspected as per PA guidelines.  We also have an extra layer of protection by training our staff to look at the units while cleaning and setting up and marking on our driver log any issues that can impact the performance of the unit.  Those are daily logged and updated so we can ensure we are up to date on all of our equipment.  

7.  Does the company carry a workman's comp policy?
In Pennsylvania worker's comp is mandatory for all employers who have one or more employees, whether they are part-time or full-time, including family members.  It's important for you as the consumer to use companies who have worker's comp policies because if the employee gets injured on your site their expenses will be covered by the worker's comp policy.  If no coverage exists that person may claim on your homeowner's policy costing you aggravation, time, and possibly money.

8.  Does the company have Commercial Car Insurance Policy?

Businesses need higher liability insurance, as well as additional coverage add-ons to make sure the employees, other individuals, company vehicles, and the business are fully protected.  You are required to have Commercial Auto Insurance if you use your vehicle for work or your own vehicles operated by a business.  Commercial car insurance coverage isn't just about big rigs but covers vehicles such as cars, pickup trucks, sports utility vehicles, etc.  

Using companies who are following the guidelines set for Businesses helps cover you as well.  Imagine there is an accident involving a vehicle of an employee or even the business that is not covered under a Commercial policy but a personal policy of the individual or business that is in an accident in your driveway, church parking lot, business parking lot, school lot, etc.  You may be liable as well on your homeowners, church, business property for not only the employee's damages/injury but also for those on your property.   

9.  Does the company you are using have a weather policy?

It's important that the company recognizes that there is weather where it is unsafe to set up and/or leave an Inflatable in use.  Do they have a policy for bad weather such as Wind, and Thunder/lightning?  

  • Cost
It's definitely important to weigh costs for bounce houses.  In general bounce companies typically rent by the day (8 hours) however a few will rent all for 3 day weekends, advertising how this is able to allow you to play more...

Beware of companies who regularly want to drop off Thursday and not pick up on Sunday or Monday.  Typically they are doing this not for the customer to have more time to play but due to lack of manpower.  There are also other reasons why this practice is not something most companies choose to do.  

#1  It can ruin your grass area leaving an inflatable setup for more than a day.  It can definitely kill the grass that it is under especially during those hot summer months.  

#2  It can create mold/mildew growth just overnight.  This is vinyl and it is getting wet sitting deflated with dew on it during the late hours/early mornings.  Sure one overnight is not going to be a huge problem for you, but imagine if the company is doing this every week...well now it's a problem for you as well because it probably already has mold/mildew growth on it (not usually visible to the eye until it gets really nasty) and you are having your kids bouncing around and laying all over it.  A company that has a reputation for leaving them for a long period of time and not occasional overnight is probably not being conscientious about getting the unit back out at their shop during the week using a mold/mildew treatment on it and making sure it is allowed to be out drying in the sun afterward for any wetness inside.

Beware of those cheap companies that might not concentrate on safety or health factors.  Never compromise the safety, quality, or hygiene over savings.  Pick a company that has a great reputation in the community like word of mouth referrals, as well as positive reviews from their customers.  With little effort, you can make the best decision which creates more fun & joy and fewer headaches and fewer worries over safety/cleanliness

While cost is important it's important to remember that this is a special day, special event and something you don't want to find out the company you hired though seemed like a good deal at the time can come back to haunt you as we have heard horror stories more often then we would like about things like:

  • The company not showing up or answering their phones on your event date
  • Companies showing up with different units than you ordered
  • Companies show up with disgusting and old units that don't look anything like their photos online.
  • Companies showing up with dirty and disappointing units that you struggle to put your kids in because you know they were not cleaned from the last renter 👎.
3 Monkeys Inflatable has been in business for over 13 years in the York Pennsylvania area.  We focus a lot of time on the Training and Development of our staff to ensure that your event is top-notch.  

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