In July I got a new wheelchair as I posted about here. Sadly, it hasn’t gone so well and the company I got it from have been awful. I have phoned, written and begged the company for a replacement for over a year. Last night I post my temper and wrote to the CEO of Betterlife Healthcare. I hope this gets an answer. If it doesn’t – it made me feel a little better.
Dear Mr Abrahams
I am writing in regards to the on-going saga which can be summed up by the fact in July 2011 you sold me what you define as an ‘Aries wheelchair’ and I define as a ‘useless piece of rubbish that regularly breaks down, or regularly has pieces falling of it – interspersed with the most appalling customer service I have ever received from a company’.
First of all, I’m not sure if you’re aware, but people who generally use wheelchairs either can’t walk, or find it difficult to. We generally rely on them, and find them quite important in our lives. I get the impression from your company you don’t understand this vital function by you way you have treated me over the past year, so I just thought I’d clear that up for you.
On to the point of this letter – one of the many letters, emails and phone calls I’ve had to make over the past year. I agreed to you taking the chair away for an inspection, despite having taken a day off work a few weeks ago when you sent a technician to carry one out – who then took photos for 30 seconds and then left – with no report forthcoming. So I agreed to another inspection only on the proviso I was given an alternative suitable chair.
First I was called by someone who said they were bringing a scooter – I’m unsure if it really was a scooter, as so many members of your staff have an incredibly annoying habit of calling wheelchairs scooters, which is a shame because I would have thought as a mobility company you might be aware of the differences between the two just by looking at them. Silly me.
I explained I did not want a replacement scooter, but a wheelchair, but the lady then came back to say I could have a loan chair, but it could only be used indoors. That obviously did not meet the definition of an ‘alternative’, just as if I was offered a loan car but was told I couldn’t leave my drive way, then eyebrows would clearly be raised. The weird thing about wheelchairs is that you generally use them to leave the house, so I declined this ludicrous offer.
My next offer was a specific wheelchair that I was given the name of. As my trust with your company is on a par with the countries feelings towards the banking sector, I decided to google this before accepting. I immediately noticed the weight limit of the wheelchair did not meet the accepted level I had just informed you of 30 seconds ago. I was then told there was no other alternative, so we were left at stalemate.
My mum then decided to help me by contacting a manager at your company, Heather, to try and address this, and Heather promised a suitable alternative would be given that could in fact leave the house, met the weight limit, and go into a car. Great! Except this was the same Heather who twice promised me a replacement chair, then denied all knowledge and said I was lying when it came to actually obtaining said replacement. So again, my trust? Bob Diamond level.
The technician came today to pick up my sorry state of a wheelchair, which currently looks like something that’s had a very hard life – with all four tyres going flat despite regularly pumping them, the replacement footplate not clicking into place, the glue or bolts holding the side of the wheelchair in place having fallen off – leaving both sides flapping, and just to top it off – as the technician lifted the chair, something else fell from it, like something out of a comedy sketch. Except I don’t find it funny.
He then handed over a wheelchair – a rickety looking thing with a big split across the headrest and left. Firstly, it wasn’t charged – which means I won’t be able to use it until tomorrow, which seems really rude of you – but I suppose a blip on the radar at this point. Worst of all – it’s that specific chair I declined. You know, that chair that doesn’t meet the weight requirements?
I used the last drops of the battery life to take it to the back of the house, as it wobbled away, and theb tipped as I went round the corner but was luckily saved from falling by my mum. So that ‘replacement’ chair can’t actually be used as it’s yet another completely pile of rubbish, which I suppose I was expecting from your company.
I’m tired of emailing or phoning you begging you for a refund, saying I’m ‘shocked and appalled’ with your service and unhappy that I’m housebound as I wait yet another repair on the chair. I oddly enough have better things to do. So here’s a suggestion: just give me my money back so I can get a replacement chair from elsewhere, and you can carry on treating your other customers with contempt.
Edit: I got a response the next day offering a refund! I went back and requested some compensation for all the injuries and suffering caused, and the times I’ve been trapped indoors for months on end due to the wheeelchair breaking.
He came back to offer 10% off my next wheelchair from them. Needless to say – I said no.