Another Unsuccessful Trip for Wheelchair Repair

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swalker

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I feel bad ranting a bit here, but will anyway:).

My primary wheelchair, the Permobil C500s VS, had extensive work in December of 2017 (over $11,000). That was covered by insurance, but I had to pay a substantial deductible/copay.

At that time, they were supposed to replace the motors, gearboxes, brakes, and shocks on both sides along with replacing the batteries and doing a few odds and ends of work.

We found out they did not replace the batteries and had to make a subsequent trip to Denver to get them replaced. It takes about 4.5 hours of driving to do the round trip. As I reported earlier, they acknowledged they did not replace the batteries and were quit apologetic.

Shortly after the batteries were replaced, we noticed the rear casters were really tight. They were supposed to repair and refurbish those last December, but did not.

I also noticed the motors were making a funny noise and the brakes were slipping.

I was informed that since I did not report this within the 90 day warranty period, the apparently defective motors/gearboxes and maladjusted brakes would not be covered by the warranty. Instead, insurance would have to pay for them, leaving me to pay a significant deductible once again.

We did the paperwork and got the approval through insurance. The parts were ordered and I was informed they had arrived. Before departing for the wheelchair shop today, we called and confirmed the appointment time and that all the parts were there.

We arrived about 30 minutes early and were informed they had given us the wrong appointment time (and confirmed it!). So, we were really an hour early by their count!

The tech was great (as he always is). He took a look at what needed to be done and informed me that an essential part (the brakes) was not ordered and another part (a broken battery lid) was incorrectly ordered.

There was still enough work for him to spend about 3.5 hours on the chair. I got new tires (again!) and he rebuilt the caster mount (bearings, anti flutter kit, etc.). He also diagnosed and temporarily fixed the issue with the stander function not allowing me to return to a seated position (I know the override sequence, so have never been stranded).

Now, they are ordering the brakes, proper battery door "lid", sensors for the standing function, and new back sliding mechanism (essential for the standing function).

Hopefully the parts will arrive before our next trip and we will be able to make the 4.5 hour round trip to Denver again.

The folks there are really great, but there is a disconnect between the folks organizing repairs, the folks ordering parts, and the technician who actually does the work (and knows what is needed).

I am not sure they understand just how big of an effort it is for me to ride in a car for 4.5 hours and then wait at their facility for 3.5 hours. I am pretty spent, yet pretty wound up from all that effort not yet resulting in success.

I am sure that in a couple of weeks this will all be behind us. In they end, they always take really good care of me. But, for now, I just need to rant a bit.

On a positive note, yesterday I went for a 23.6 mile ride. It pretty much destroyed me, but I was smiling all day:).

Steve
 

affected

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Wow I think I would just dissolve in a broken heap if that happened Steve.

So frustrating, and yes it's not the inconvenience (which is huge), it's not the cost (which sounds pretty significant!), but how much it takes out of you to do such a big day trip.

Sure is a a huge communication issue there, rant away you obviously know how to let the steam off appropriately so let it rip!
 

swalker

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Thanks, Tillie!

I edited that first post pretty heavily before I dared post it:).

Here are some good things that happened today.

  1. I got to spend the entire day with my wife, which just does not seem to happen often enough.
  2. We drove through the beautiful mountains of Colorado. The weather was wonderful and the views spectacular.
  3. We got do drive through a long tunnel and under the continental divide.
  4. The traffic was unexpectedly light on our way to the wheelchair shop.
  5. It was deliciously warm in Denver. Temperatures below about 80 degrees (F) are hard on me. It was 90 in Denver today!

Steve
 

Narrowminded

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Steve I am so sorry about the disappointing trip and the apparent lack of communication at that shop. However, I am thrilled that you found all the blessing the day brought as well.

Best to you
 

tripete

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i have been dissapointed in my permobile c300 failure rate also. i have had to had the main cable and batterries replaced. it is 1.5 years old. i think there engineering is lacking. at least so far they have come to my house. i like the way it rides though
 

KimT

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Steve,

You are such a gracious person. You found the silver lining in all this mixup. You helped me so much when I was looking for information on PWCs. I hope to hear that your main ride is 100% fixed and look forward to hearing about many more rides.
 
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