ED Magedson – Founder
The Scooter Store1650 Independence Drive New Braunfels, Texas United States of America
My doctor ordered a power chair to help be combat the symptoms of severe arterial degeneration in my legs and arms. I suffer from a great deal of pain when walking or standing for any adequate amount of time and I prefer not to use pain medications, so I thought that this would be a perfect fit to help me out from day to day. Since there arent any local medical supply stores, I contacted The Scooter Store, who was more than happy to work with me since my doctor was willing to get everything to them that they would need the same day. A few days later a Pride Jazzy arrived at my door.
After a few days of having the Jazzy I noticed a problem, it jerked a lot when no one was touching the controls. One evening while sitting in front of the Christmas tree it drove itself into my desk, causing damage. So I called the repair hotline and they sent out a technician. He played with the chair for some time without it moving on its own. I was assured that it was most likely a freak accident and that it would most likely never happen again.
I continued to notice the jerking that it would do. However, I noticed that it was more common during the evening. One night while letting my dog roam the yard while I enjoyed the winter night from my enclosed porch, the power chair moved on its own again and slammed into a lip of concrete at an awkward angle, causing the chair to flip sideways with me in it. The chair was not on, but the wheels were moving. My wife tried turning on and off the power button and moving the control stick, but the chairs wheels continued to move. To finally make the chair come to rest, my wife unplugged the power cord that goes from the controller to the battery. The chair was left with a torn up arm cushion and a bent in arm rest. Unfortunately, I did not fair as well and suffered a week worth of pain after going to the emergency room.
Again, I called the repair hotline and a few days later a tech was at my home. The tech changed the arm cushion and replaced the control module (he told me he would have to order the bent arm rest). I had hoped that would fix the problem, but later in the evening the chair would continue to creep on its own without the controls being touched.
I waited until after the holidays and I called the repair hotline back to let them know that the chair was still moving on its own, to ask for the same kind of arm cushion on both arms since one was squared and the other round, and to find out about the status of the part needed to fix the bent arm. This time when I called the lady that answered told me that the bent arm was cosmetic. For the life of me I couldnt figure out how an arm rest that is bent inward would only be considered cosmetic, so I asked to speak to a supervisor.
With the supervisor I expressed my concerns in a no-nonsense manner. Frankly, I told her that I wanted to return the chair since it was defective and had already injured me. She tells me that it would take over a year to get the paperwork filed and that I am basically stuck with the chair. Even replacing a chair that moves on its own would be to much for them.
The next day they send another repair technician out. He says that he will order the part that is bent and replaced the arm cushion, which was the wrong one for this model in the first place. He toyed around with the chair and ra the error codes which only show that the chair has been placed in neutral for it to be moved while it is unusable. Then he proceeds to call Pride and talk to them and he tells me that they say I am crazy. He did call them back and talk to another tech. This tech asked about cell phone and CB towers. He said that they can effect the way this power chair operates and has caused them to move on their own before.
There are no immediate towers in my area, but I do live near industry and a river. The tech puts on the paperwork that this may be causing the malfunction, and the industry and river may be amplifying signals to cause a problem. Then, he leaves.
It has been three weeks and not a word from The Scooter Store about fixing the bent arm, however they call often to ask me if I want to purchase a lift or a car ramp. The chair still moves on its own and I refuse to use it of an evening because of the dangers that it presents to me. I fell that The Scooter Store has been irresponsible in supplying this power chair understanding that local businesses and environment can make it malfunction. Buyer beware. Families beware. Just because it appears that their offering may make life easier on you or a loved one, does not mean that it wont be just one big headache. I would recommend going to a more local medical supply store that understands the area and their product so that you dont encounter the same problems.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/17/2010 08:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/the-scooter-store/new-braunfels-texas-78132/the-scooter-store-dangerous-equipment-new-braunfels-texas-555784. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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