Cramer Decker offers exchange program

Saturday, March 31, 2007

SANTA ANA, Calif. - Cramer Decker has a new deal that sounds to some providers like a no-brainer. To others, it sounds almost too good to be true.
For a few dollars more than what it costs to retest an oxygen cylinder--retesting's required every five years to ensure safety--the company will swap a used tank for a brand spanking new replacement.
"How do you argue with that?" said Sam Clay, president of Clay Home Medical in Petersburg, Va. "It sounds interesting--it really does."
While the exchange program sounds like an expensive proposition, Cramer Decker offsets the cost by selling the used cylinders to a recycler, said John Peterson, director of sales.
The numbers break down like this for the industry's most popular cylinders: A new e-tank costs about $40; to have it retested runs $10 to $15. Under its Renew program, Cramer Decker charges $22 to replace an old e-cylinder with a new one. A new M6 cylinder costs about $25; Cramer Decker will replace it for $14.99.
"When you have a cylinder that is beyond its hydrostatic (test) date, send it to us and we'll take your valve, get a new cylinder, put your valve on it and send it back to you," Peterson said. "It's a brand new cylinder, not just a retested cylinder."
If the valve on a used tank is faulty, the company will also replace that for an additional cost.
The Renew program competes with an offer by Luxfer Gas Cylinders, which for about the same cost, will test a used tank, clean it up to look like new and ship it back to the provider.
Cramer Decker launched the Renew program in November and just recently exchanged its 20,000 tank. Much of that business has come from one big customer, but Peterson expects the program to take off as more providers learn about it and become comfortable with the concept.
"It's tough to change people's habits," he said. "The response I get all the time is, 'What's the catch? That sounds too easy.' I say try it once. If it works great, try it again."