Hiring a bouncy castle is an excellent way to celebrate your kid’s birthday, but only if you hire from an established company. There are dozens of shady hire companies out there who will do things on the cheap. We’re compiled a list of the top five scams to be aware of and how to avoid them.
Scam #1: Renting Leaky Castles
If you called around hire companies in your area and found the lowest quote, don’t be too quick to congratulate yourself on saving ten bucks. The biggest scam out there is where companies hire leaky castles. This means that the seams of the inflatable have come apart and may have been temporarily patched or taped over. If you don’t check a castle thoroughly when the company arrive to set it up, they might try to blame your kids for ripping the castle and charge you a hidden ‘repair fee’ for the fix. Never accept a castle if it shows signs of having been repaired.
Scam #2: Renting De-laminated Castles
This means that the plasticized exterior surface of the castle is starting to peel away from the fabric underneath. It’s harder to spot than leaks and is potentially dangerous to your kids. Delaminating castles have jagged sharp edges that can easily scratch or cut your kids’ legs and feet. Always give the castle an inspection before you let the hire company employee leave. The scam here isn’t that you might be charged for this damage but that an activity you planned to be fun for your kids could actually hurt or injure them – definitely NOT what you paid for.
Scam #3: Unsanitary Equipment
When you hire a bouncy castle for your kids to play on, you expect it to be clean. Sadly, many rogue hire companies give you an inflatable that is anything but. Kids of all ages invariably leave bodily fluids on castles when they play (we’ll leave that to your imagination) and a major part of the hire company’s job is to properly sanitize the castle after every hire. Sadly, due to the time it takes to do this properly, cheap hire companies choose to see this as ‘optional’. This means that when your kids play on the castle, they may come into contact with harmful bacteria and easily get it into their eyes or mouths. Never accept a visibly dirty inflatable.
Scam #4: Overcharging For The Compressor Hire
Reputable hire companies will always give you the option of hiring a compressor, recognizing that some homes already have one. Cheap companies may give you a low-ball hire price that seems like a steal but then scam you on compressor hire. They may either insist that compressor hire is mandatory or simply overcharge you. If you don’t have a compressor, check how much one really costs to rent from your local hire firm before you get conned.
Scam #5: Late Penalties
You may get stung by fines for returning the equipment late or using it over the agreed upon time. If you are planning a kids birthday party in Calgary or the surrounding area, always ask for a full quote in writing to avoid any nasty surprises in the bill!