Avoid an Event Disaster When Renting Two-Way Radios

You have enough things to worry about before the big event. Your radios shouldn't be one of them.

Posted in Industry News

You’ve been planning this event for months and accounted for every contingency. The time to execute is now. The staff is ready to go and everything seems to be here, except... where are the radios? They never arrived! Those radios are your backbone of communication. You suddenly realize that without them, smooth execution of your plan is nearly impossible.

You call the radio rental vendor to find out what happened. At first, they say, “What, you mean you haven’t received them yet?” Finally, after tracking down the delivery, they admit that part of the order will be showing up later today, but the remaining radios won’t be available until tomorrow.

“Tomorrow!” you scream. “I need them right now!”

As chaos quickly ensues, your beautiful event has become a living nightmare. How did this happen?

The dirty little secrets of the radio rental business

There are two reasons why a scenario like the one above can happen. The first is that the radios were sent too close to the actual event. Weather problems, delays or even a broken down delivery vehicle can make your order late. It may be the fault of the courier or the rental company. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter because you’re the one who suffers.

The second reason has to do with unexpected demand. For example, let’s say a construction company rented out a large number of two-way radios for a set number of days. It turns out that the project will take a week longer than expected, so the company asks to keep the walkie talkies for the extra time. (Alternatively, they may just keep the radios for an extra week without asking.)

The rental company had been expecting the equipment back on time. In fact, they’ve already scheduled most of those radios to go out to three other companies. The rental company doesn’t want to lose their three new customers, but the construction company is a large and loyal customer.

In the end, it’s the new or smaller customer that gets stuck with a disastrous event.

How to protect yourself

When looking at our example (an example, by the way, that is surprisingly common) you might wonder if there is anything you could do to prevent it from happening to you. After all, the radio rental company didn’t plan on ruining your event.

Actually, there are ways to reduce the chance of a bad scenario happening to you. Most of the time, the rental company should have planned for this contingency. While it’s unlikely you’ll get them to admit their system is unreliable, asking a few important questions should offer some insight.

1. Can you guarantee your radios will be available and delivered on time?

Of course, all rental companies will say you’ll get your radios on time, but having a money-back guarantee typically means they feel confident about their system. For example, a company that offers a guarantee is more likely to include an adequate amount of buffer time between orders for the same radios.

It also suggests that they keep a large inventory of radios. This is usually the more important determining factor. It’s also the reason that it’s typically better to work with a national vendor compared to a local vendor. Local vendors often have limited demand and, therefore, a much smaller inventory.

2. When will I get the radios?

As mentioned above, some rental companies will rely too much on their delivery service for getting their equipment to you on time. Ideally, your vendor should offer to deliver the equipment one business day before your event. That means if your event is on a Monday, you should receive the radios on Friday.

That extra time is important. In addition to protecting against late deliveries, it also gives you time to test your equipment. And, yes, you should always inspect and test your equipment as soon as it arrives. Your vendor should have tested the equipment before delivery, but it’s not unheard of for a defective item to slip through.

3. What happens if something doesn’t work upon arrival?

If the only answer you receive is, “Don’t worry, we test everything before sending it out,” you’ve got the wrong rental company. Chances are, if a product arrives defective, they’ll blame you for the problem.

A responsible radio rental company will remind you to check everything and let them know immediately if there’s a problem. That will allow them to overnight a replacement radio or accessory, if necessary.

Last minute surprises can ruin even the best planned events. We know because we’ve heard the horror stories from our customers about their previous vendors. Therefore, it’s important to pick a two-way radio rental company that cares about the success of your event as much as you do. Take a little extra time to ask these important questions and you’ll have one less thing to worry about come event day.

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