A properly poorly powerchair (part two)

I wrote most of this Thursday and ran out of time to finish it and then forgot about it!

So I got a phone call from the powerchair technician earlier tonight.

He’d fixed both the problems he’d found on Monday, replaced my battered arm rests and fitted my new batteries. It was on track for me to have it back tomorrow.

All good. But you know when you can just hear in someone’s voice that there’s a but coming? I don’t really know him but was getting that feeling.

And unfortunately there was. A pretty big but too.

He’d fitted one of the new tyres I requested this afternoon and then gone to do the second one. At which point he’d discovered another problem.

A crack in the wheel. Which means it’s not safe to use and I can’t have it back.

I’ve had this chair less than two years. Probably 20 months in fact.

In that time I’ve

    Had to have the swing away joystick mechanism replaced after having an accident with the door. That was accidental damage and so wasn’t covered by the warranty but was by my insurance. I’ve never been convinced I actually hit the door hard enough to crack it and don’t think it should have done. But at the same time someone then grabbed the door to help and I think that actually worsened the situation.
    Had to have all four of the casters replaced due to what was described as expected wear and tear after only 14 months. And I mean the wheels not the tyres. Apparently according to the supplier you could say it was a little early but it wasn’t covered by the warranty.
    Worn out my tyres on the main drive wheels to such an extent they have no tread left. I have to pay for that and given how many hundreds of miles I must have done in it, don’t mind that.
    Ditto batteries. They are now not holding their charge anywhere near as much as they were. I’d say at the moment I could probably do less than two thirds of what I used to be able to between charges and I’ve struggled more on slopes and seen the low battery light rather a lot lately :-S usually I would expect to get between a year and 18 months out of a set so this is pretty good. But part of that will be because it was a brand new chair and I won’t get as much out of them next time. It was suggested by the technician that I could get another year out of them because average is three years (I know of at least three other wheelchair technicians who would read that and be all WTF. But I don’t think they read my blog) but I wouldn’t be able to go as far between charges. I said no because really what’s the point in that? And also, that struck me as dodgy advice (a pet peeve of mine, it’s the CAB adviser in me).

    Had problems with one of the front wheels keep bouncing off the ground leading to the discovery if a broken shock absorber and a cracked chassis which needed fully replacing. Both covered by the warranty.
    A cracked wheel. That was only found after my chair was in the workshop for several days when they took the wheel off to do the tyre. Apparently it’s lucky they decided to clean my wheel before putting the tyre on otherwise they wouldn’t have seen it. Sunrise Medical claim this is a general wear and tear item and not covered by the warranty. I was about ready to lose the fucking plot when the technician told me that. But then he told me he’d argued the point and Sunrise Medical are providing a new wheel for free as a gesture of goodwill. And yes calling it a gesture of goodwill really does take the piss.

Oh and I’ve now been told that that my wheelchair supplier knows of four people including me who he’s got or had a part in getting a
Quickie Salsa for only to have the chassis break.

Interesting times people.

I had an email from an old school friend Katherine earlier this week. She was talking about getting a new wheelchair. She’d been to try out new chairs that day and one of the ones she tried was the mid wheel drive version of the Salsa. I told her to avoid it at all costs.

Part of me wishes someone had told me that last year.

(Setting the categories for this post has made me think I should set up a “completely and utter bollocks” category. But I think I’ll wait until another day)

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