Handling an Out of Order/Broken Elevator

As a building manager or owner, you know how crucial a properly operating elevator is to your customers, clients, tenants and guests. People get upset when they can’t ride the elevator to their floor, especially in a high rise. So what do you do when your elevator is broken? How can you make repairs quick so you can get back online as soon as possible? Let’s go over all that and more, including how to handle the inconvenience for passengers.

Notify Mowrey Elevator

The first step is to notify your elevator repair and maintenance company. Here at Mowrey Elevator, we have a convenient 24/7 hotline where you can call us at any hour of the day or night to report an outage and request prompt service. We can get the ball rolling, putting you into our schedule and sending a technician or team of technicians depending on the issue and how many elevators are out.

Notify Tenants/Guests

Your guests may be forgiving for a little while, but if the elevator is down for a long period of time, the inconvenience will far outweigh their gracious attitudes. That’s why quick repairs are critical. You’re putting people out and have to be accountable for that.

But no repair is instantaneous, so the next step is to appease your tenants. They may be upset about the broken elevator, but they will be less upset when you’re forthright and honest about what’s going on. Here are some ground rules:

  • Tell them which elevator is out of service. When sending an email memo, be specific and let everyone know what the elevator number is.
  • Explain the problem. Perhaps a part is broken and needs to be ordered. Maybe the elevator is failing to run smoothly or got stuck earlier, or maybe it’s down for a required code inspection. Whatever the case, be honest about what the issue is. No one likes a mystery.
  • Provide a timeframe. Don’t sugar coat things, or you’ll have irate passengers later on. If the elevator will be down for 24 – 48 hours, say this. Don’t be overly optimistic because people will be counting on this estimate. If it will take a week for the part to come in and the repair to be made, admit it. This will save you from fielding angry phone calls all week.
  • Explain the options. Tell them what they should do instead, such as take a different elevator (outline where it is) or take the stairs. Point them to the most convenient alternative.
  • Discuss the outcome. Reassure them the elevator will be completely safe once fixed, explaining how the repair will boost long-term reliability and speed.
  • Talk about the condition of any other elevators. When you have multiple elevators, discuss them and what may need to be done to those in the future, such as an expected repair.
  • Acknowledge their inconvenience. Your tenants may understand at a basic level that there’s nothing that can be done about the elevator at that moment, but they are still frustrated and want you to acknowledge what an inconvenience it is. Apologize for the setback and do everything possible to accommodate them during this time.
  • List contact information. On the notice, include the author and how to get in touch with him/her for additional questions. Maybe one of your tenants is expecting a large shipment later in the day and has questions about storage options in the meantime.

Hang Up a Sign

Print and post an out-of-service sign near the elevator so passengers don’t wait around for an elevator that will never come.

We hope these suggestions have been helpful, and remember, call us first!