When I ordered my new powerchair (8th June) I was told it would take between 4 and 6 weeks to come but the manufacturer (Sunrise Medical) had been told it was urgent. And if I’m completely honest I didn’t believe that was going to make any difference. But my previous chair was from the same manufacturer and came really quickly so I was hopeful it would be on the sooner end of that estimate.
5 weeks later I asked my supplier if they had any news of when I’d get the chair and if not could they get me an update. And it turned out Sunrise had decided that my chair needed to be put through the custom build department which is based in Germany. That had caused a delay and they hadn’t told us (allegedly forgot). It was definitely going to ship on 27th July.
So I was expecting to hear from the supplier yesterday or today with a delivery date and when I didn’t I emailed to ask for another update. They checked with Sunrise then rang me. It didn’t ship as planned. And once again Sunrise never bothered to tell us. It finally shipped yesterday evening (6 days later than planned). I’m not sure when I’ll get it as the supplier wouldn’t comment when I asked – but it may well be a few days after they get it as they need to do a full inspection before they can bring it out and once it’s here they need to fit it which can take a couple of hours.
I don’t know why the delay – I was told “that’s Germany for you.” and I don’t know about that but what I do know is that delays and poor communication are beyond common with disability equipment and wheelchairs in particular. I’d have less of a problem with the delay if as soon as it was ordered they had told me “sorry, it’s got to be manufactured by the custom build team due to the spec you want and that’s going to cause a delay, we’re looking at 7 weeks.”
For the past two months since my Quickie Salsa broke I’ve felt like my life was on hold a bit. Especially for the first two and a half weeks when I was housebound. Less so since I got the loan chair and could get out locally but I’ve not been able to get out and about further afield. And there were events I’ve had to say no to. I feel like I’ve not done anything or been anywhere since it broke. I made the mistake of saying that to Mum and she proceeding to list everything I’ve done and you know what I have done loads but I’ve also missed out too and it’s beginning to look like I missed my only opportunity this year to do something I’ve done every year since 2012.
I want the Jive to be the best chair it can be for me. So I do want them to take their time with it and build it properly and well. But at the same time I wonder if the people working for Sunrise realise what it means to me. I need that chair – I’ve got a life to live: friends to visit and places I both want and need to go and shopping to do and cocktails to drink. And most of all I’ve got promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.