Allstar chief notes online buying risks for electrical fixture shoppers

DENVER, CO - Fall is a popular time to commence home remodeling projects in anticipation of holiday guests, and upgrading lighting fixtures is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to do it. But Gary Stone, president of Allstar Electrical Services, serving metro Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo., sounds a cautionary alarm for persons planning to buy electrical fixtures on the internet. “Buying your lighting fixtures online can be risky, given that they play such a large role in your décor,” he says. He cites numerous horror stories told him by clients who tried to do-it-themselves rather than use the professional services of an electrical contractor.

Troubles can range from simple annoyances to potentially dangerous situations that can result in fires…or worse.

One of his customers got a particularly thorough lesson in the hazards of cyber-shopping when she ordered a ceiling fan from a web site. They charged her credit card same day but didn’t ship until nearly one month later. In the interim, she purchased another ceiling fan from a local big box store because she had to have it installed in time for a new tenant to move into the square footage. She called the web vendor to cancel the order a few days later and was told that she couldn’t. The customer service rep advised her the fan was shipping that very day. “Stop it then,” she directed the rep. The rep said she would not, and that the client could return it for an in-store (online store) credit. “But I don’t need another fan, or any kind of light fixture for that matter,” the buyer, now beware, said.

Ten days later the fan ordered some 40 days earlier arrived. The buyer refused to accept the package after noting that it didn’t ship from the vendor until days after her telephone conversation to cancel the order. UPS took the shipment back, but what ensued was a time-consuming dialog with the vendor and then the credit card company (the card she’d used to make the purchase in the first place.) The credit card company would not return the funds to her account because they said, the website fully disclosed that returns weren’t allowed. Months later, the company has its fan back and she’s wondering if she will ever find something to spend her credit on.

Then there was the customer who wanted to splurge on a couple of very expensive Italian fixtures that she’d seen online. The glass color on the fixtures was a different shade than she needed to go with her décor and the metallic finish had a different sheen that the other furnishings it was supposed to match. In this case she was able to return it for a full refund, but she was still out the time she had spent on ordering and returning it. And what would she have done if it had come with an Italian three-pin inline plug on an appliance that’s rated at 240 volts (the European standard)? Rewire it herself? Pretty risky if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Speaking of safety risks, Allstar Electrical Service’s Stone says, “Given the poor track record some of our foreign ‘trading partners’ I’d be very leery of how carefully they address safety concerns in manufacturing electrical fixtures. It’s not worth the risk to my home and family for the sake of saving a couple of bucks.”

So what’s a power shopper to do?

Allstar Electrical Service offers a simple solution. The electrical contractor has partnered with local lighting fixture companies in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo. that allow customers to get a hands-on evaluation of a huge variety of products. That way they can be assured that the colors are right, the metallic surfaces are what they want, and, by engaging Allstar’s award-winning installation services, the fixtures will actually work when they’re installed. And at prices that are comparable to online buying.

“We want to make the process as streamlined as we can for our customers,” Stone says. “All they have to do is contact us and explain their project and we’ll direct them to one of our showroom partners that’s close to them. The staff at the stores will help them select the right fixture for their needs, passing our contractor’s discount through to them.” Then it’s a simple matter of scheduling the installation at a time that’s convenient for the customer.

Allstar offers extensive residential electrical remodeling services that can transform your home into a showplace while keeping costs under control and guarding you against costly and dangerous mistakes. It may not be quite as fast as clicking a mouse, but it’s a whole lot safer and can save a lot of time, money and aggravation in the long run.

To access Allstar’s partners in lighting and the discount available to Allstar customers, call Allstar Electrical Services at (303) 399-7420 and make an appointment for installation. You may want to preview the lighting selection at either Lamps Plus or Foothills Lighting and have photos and product descriptions to show the electrician when he arrives on site to estimate the installation costs. That way, the electrician can advise you if the light fixture you’re hoping will work with your décor and purpose will, in fact, work with your current electrical service and wiring.

Allstar Showroom Partners

Contact Allstar Electrical Services LLC at (303) 399-7420 or visit the Allstar website at www.allstarelectrical.com.