Two questions I get asked often are how I subsidize the costs of the chambers and also why do I offer this program and no one else does?
I’ll answer the second question first. For the most part manufacturers of chambers are in business to make money as selling medical devices and equipment has always been one of the most profitable industries. I believe that if they really did care they would try to make the extra effort with some creativity and generosity to really help those in need who are financially in a hard place.
So how do I offer subsidized prices? Well it’s really quite simple a small percentage of the profits from chambers that are sold at full retail prices is set aside and rolled into a fund that accrues month after month. So many chambers are being sold every month to athletes and people that don’t have a medical condition but are just trying to do something good for their health or get an edge with physical performance. Those same people are usually financially well off otherwise they wouldn’t have the luxury to consider such an expensive piece of medical equipment.
For all those folks who have a documented medical condition who have tried so many therapies out there and already spent so much on medical bills, this fund that accrues is in place to help out when the cost of a chamber is well out of reach or just a little bit. I can’t tell you how many times I used to see an individual or family go without a chamber all because the amount of money they were offered from the finance program was a few hundred or a thousand dollars short to pay the retail cost. It was at that point that I decided to start this program as I couldn’t motivate the manufacturers and distributors to help out these folks even when they were so close to being able to obtain a chamber. It made me sick. But the good news is that this program was born from that frustration.
When the program started to result in many more chambers being sold suddenly chamber companies took an interest. I showed them that there was a such thing as creating more win win scenarios. Currently I know a distributor who is assisting with providing some additional wiggle room through discounts that when paired up with the fund I created is really making a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
Free trials…I have encountered this promotion out there both online and offline. Usually it is a Dealer or Distributor that is offering it. My first reaction seeing this many years ago was there has to be some catch or hidden fees. After all these chambers are several thousand dollars so it would be a big risk sending something out free and trusting the consumer. At one point when I was researching the chamber rental programs I learned about how challenging running a business like that can be as I was told that almost every month the business has to deal with chambers that are not being willingly returned or that just “disappear” for one reason or another. These companies were even using a deposit from the customer but it still was not enough to prevent issues. So now imagine a free trial program..
Some companies now require a huge deposit up front before they give you your “free trial”. I have looked at numerous of these programs and always found something that caught my eye in the fine print. How about this one: Customer is responsible for any damages that are incurred during transit either upon delivery or when being returned after the trial period ends.
Or how about those hidden fees. If you use your CC for most free trial programs you are to pay the 3% credit card fee vs. the company eating this cost. So if you get yourself a nice fancy $10,000 chamber that requires a $5000 deposit to get the free trial then you would be looking at $150 in CC fees! So much for free…
The other thing I was shocked by was the penalties when a chamber is returned after the 30 or 45 day trial period. When that happens most programs roll automatically into a daily charge for each late day…and of course your CC is on file for that automatic deduction. I saw daily charges anywhere from $120-$299 per day depending on the company and model of chamber. Ouch! And those same policies also state that anything that goes over 60 days has fees that will double.
I personally would never bother with these programs. If a person is so concerned about trying out a chamber then they should just lay in one for a few sessions at a clinic. There really is not much to “try”. If a person needs to see if they or a loved one can get in and out of a chamber due to a disability then I suppose a trial or seeking treatments at a center makes sense before purchase. The other scenario is for people that don’t know if they are claustrophobic. Although what I have learned from many clinics is that it is more common for people to get claustrophobic in the smallest chambers out there as it feels like laying in a coffin and not just that it makes doing any kind of work in there kind of impossible. So if you are tight on cash and wanting the smallest chamber you can get I would recommend you try one out first.
Several manufactures are offering up to 2 weeks to try out their chamber and if you don't like it or it is too small for you they will refund you 100% of the purchase price minus shipping. Many people buy the smallest one and find it too small and get a larger one. I have access to many of these returns and get reduced prices on these. The problem is I never know what I am getting if it is a used chamber or a brand new one that was just used a week. All I know is the year it was made and the condition. This is where most of my certified used chambers come from when the year on the serial code is the current year.