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How to choose the best water softener installer

Selecting the right water softener installer can make all the difference between getting a home that is sparkling or a home that has cosmetic staining (water spots) and hard watermarks in all the wrong places.

In addition, too many companies, one water softener is the same as another. Some companies might make claims that they are the only independent company in the area (definitely not true), and other companies who may be selling a product by the same manufacturer may try to imply that their softener is better because... often complete rubbish!

Our industry loves to confuse the customer, and distort the facts to their benefit. In my own, and my company's view, and how I train my employees, we will always be entirely transparent. Our reputation relies on complete honesty.

What factors do I need to consider when choosing a company to quote for me?

  • Ask family and friends for a good recommendation if they have had a softener installed themselves.

  • Look on the internet for good companies and read their customer reviews. Be sure the reviews are legitimate. Trustpilot is a good independent site to really get a feel for the company as anyone who has interacted with the company can rate them, not just customers – sites like Check-a-Trade and Rated People are typically only invited customers. We like the fact that Trustpilot gives everyone the chance to review, whether or not you become a customer of the company – it keeps the company on their toes!

    If you want to, you can read our customer reviews here.

  • ‍Invite the companies in to do a quotation. Do they know what they are talking about? Are they willing to go into detail? Do they lay things out in an easy to understand way? Do they try to 'upsell' you to other products you don't need or want?

  • Do they answer all your questions properly, and accurately, or do they give you 'stock answers'? Are they knowledgeable about matters affecting the industry, and can they answer confidently? Do they really know the difference between softeners, or is a softener a softener to them?

  • Are you given or sent a full quotation? Does it cover all the costs involved, and does it say what happens if anything unexpected should happen or be found that could alter the price of the installation?

  • Avoid a 'VAT-Free' deal. You will not have a valid contract if there is not a proper receipt, and manufacturers definitely won't guarantee their product without proper proof-of-sale. In addition, businesses that do things 'for cash' may not have the integrity to do things properly in your home either. 'Buyer beware' is the point here.

  • Be clear about payment terms. Get the agreement in writing upfront, ahead of the purchase.

  • Avoid paying upfront and don't pay a deposit unless you are ordering very specialist or commercial equipment, or the job will take a long time to complete. If you are asked for a deposit, discuss the reasons why with the company to ensure you are totally happy.

  • Guarantees… Ensure you are getting proper guarantees in writing.

  • What happens in the event that things go wrong? Are they skilled in repairing the equipment they sell you, will they come out to your home or will you have to send the equipment back to them? Do they have the relationship with the manufacturers if all else fails and they need their factory help?

  • Are they properly insured? They should have cover to protect themselves against property damage and personal and public liability to protect you and the general public in the event of an accident or injury.

  • What is their backup service like after the sale?

  • Most importantly, did you like the company? Did you feel you could trust them? Can they supply you with salt, or replacement filters and would you be happy to have them back in your home in the future? If they are not a big company, you will be able to create a friendship over the years and really get to know them well.

  • One final factor, could you recommend them? That may be how you started your journey, and so could you help someone else start their journey too, with your personal recommendation?

If you are happy that you have the answers you need to all the above questions, then you should be pretty much covered and ready to go ahead.