Report: #1336440

Complaint Review: Adaptive Environments, Inc.

  • Submitted: Thu, November 03, 2016
  • Updated: Thu, November 03, 2016
  • Reported By: Roz Orion — Clarkston Michigan USA
  • Adaptive Environments, Inc.
    43600 Utica Road
    Sterling Hts., Michigan

Adaptive Environments, Inc. Wheelchair stair lift service company seizes motor leaves veteran stranded in basement. Sterling Hts. Michigan

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Response to Customer's Rebuttal

*Author of original report: False Claims by Owner

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Adaptive Environments, Inc.'s Response to Report 1336440

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I'm reaching out with my story and current struggle with a company called Adaptive Environments who installed and services my wheelchair stair lift.

I'm a quadriplegic veteran, and we have an Inclined Platform Wheelchair Lift by Butler so that I can get upstairs from my basement bedroom. We have had several problems with this lift in the last year that include safety switch malfunctions, brake malfunctions, solenoid malfunctions, brake malfunctions, frightening metal popping sounds, and other issues that have caused the lift to stop working or breakdown while I'm on it. The latest life-threatening scare occurred when I drove onto the platform while upstairs, and it began to free fall. If my mother were not there to quickly hit the up button, I would have flipped forward in my powerchair down the stairs. This incident was caused by a technician not properly adjusting a cable connected to the brake system. The same incident occurred again except the lift began to free fall while I was on it towards the top of the stairs.

Adaptive Environments has sent several different service technicians out to address issues multiple times over the past year. Several times they were inadequate to troubleshoot and resolve an issue properly. They blindly replaced parts that were not a part of the problem and charged me for them on top of their $120 an hour service fee. Needless to say, they had to keep coming out till they resolved the issue. Only one service technician seemed to know what they were doing and understood the equipment.

The reason I'm reaching out with this complaint is because after the second time the lift began to free fall, they sent out a service technician again who ended up seizing the motor. He said "Well there's nothing I can do now" and left without giving us any paperwork about his negligence and a description of what happened. After a week went by not hearing from the company we called and they said they would call us back. They never called us back. It's been three weeks, and they still have not called and continue to ignore us. We feel they are incredibly disingenuous and completely unprofessional to not try to fix their wrong. More importantly, it is a serious liability. I am trapped in the basement and have been stuck here for three weeks! On top of it all, my mother recently went through hip surgery and struggles to get up and down the stairs to help me and bring down meals.

We contacted the VA to see if they can help, and they have been extremely helpful. They have even contacted Adaptive Environments to express their concern and that they need to contact us but they have not. We feel because they have a monopoly of a market to service wheelchair lifts in South Eastern Michigan that they are trying to get away with this. We prefer not to file a lawsuit but want to bring the incompetence of this company to light. People need to know before dealing with Adaptive Environments, and the company needs to be held accountable in some way. We would appreciate any help to get our voice heard.

Today, after writing this, I heard from the owner. He was extremely rude to me and denied his service technician seized the motor while working on it and tried to blame us. He said he will not fix the problem unless we pay for a new motor and the service fee to replace it. 

This is an absolute disastrous company. The owner Mark is insincere and has several bad complaints about how he runs his business.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/03/2016 02:20 PM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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Updates & Rebuttals


#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to Customer's Rebuttal

AUTHOR: Mark - (USA)

We stand by our original response.  We are not going to trade blows in this forum.

The complaint is based more on anger and opinion than actual fact.  We regret that this customer is unhappy but that does not make us a bad company.

We have several thousand satisfied customers and a few who are not.  So it goes.

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#2 Author of original report

False Claims by Owner

AUTHOR: - ()

Good spin by the owner, he comes across more polite in writing then he did over the phone but still continues to show his ignorance of the situation. His explanation is absolutely FALSE and MISLEADING. We pay to have our lift serviced every year and have the receipts and copies of the checks to prove it. The company sends a maintenance reminder by mail, and we pay for the maintenance service every time. In fact, we had it serviced March 8th, 2016. Secondly, we never said his service technician "deliberately" burnt up the engine. We said it seized while his service technician was working on it. Our complaint is that company never bothered to give us a courtesy call or reach out to us in any way to work out a solution. We called several times and asked for help from the VA just to get someone to call us back after three weeks. It is absolutely unprofessional to walk out on a job after major damage has occurred and then ignore us.

In addition, this motor is not ten years old and was not worn out. The entire unit was installed nine years ago, and this company replaced the motor nearly four years ago. They also recently replaced the solenoid, drive belt, and electronic modules in the last six months. The motor was running fine. A technician was called to fix the breaking mechanism because the lift began to freefall. The technician may have improperly adjusted parts of the motor, its hard to tell now, but he certainly ran the motor excessively till he burnt it up. 30 minutes prior to the motor failure, I came out and told the technician I could smell something burning. He obviously ignored the warning signs and continued to run the elevator. Furthermore, why are the parts he is replacing break down so quickly, it makes me wonder if he is using rebuilt and unreliable parts to begin with? Another reason to be cautious before dealing with this company.

This model of lift was RECOMMENDED by the owner and is designed to hold 700 pounds and built for transporting a heavy powerchair. The lift is not heavily used like Mark said, we use the lift to go up and back down once a day - another false claim by the owner. I find it absolutely DISRESPECTFUL and DISGRACEFULL that he is blaming the incompetence of his technician on us saying we overloaded the lift because, in Marks words "it is being used by a large man in a heavy, powered wheelchair." His insulting claim is that I'm fat and use a heavy powerchair, and that's why the motor failed. He has never met me; he has no idea what I weigh, or the amount of use the lift gets - once again showing his ignorance.

Lastly, we do not feel entitled to services without charge nor have we ever asked for free services. There have been several service visits, and we never received a bill for a few of those visits, probably because the owner recognized the technician never properly fixed the problem and caused more problems by improperly diagnosing and resolving the actual problem. They spend a lot of time on the phone with the lift manufacturer; it seems they don't know what they are doing.

If you live in Michigan, there are other companies to check out before dealing with this company.

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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Adaptive Environments, Inc.'s Response to Report 1336440

AUTHOR: Mark - (USA)

My name is Mark Bosley. I am the founder and owner of Adaptive Environments. I am responding to a recent complaint published on the Ripoff Report website. I am pleased that this website offers a fair opportunity of rebuttal as opposed to ones that simply publish anonymous rants from people who may have a bone to pick or might possibly even be competitors posing as dissatisfied customers. I personally have seen such things and have had no idea who the person complaining might have been or what they were even complaining about. In this case, even though the basic contention is, in my opinion, without foundation, we do have a real person with real issues.  I will address the specific points in the Ripoff Report submitted by Roz Orion.  I don’t know who Roz Orion is but I do know of the customer involved whom I will identify as Mr. P.

To begin, I feel some background would be helpful to the reader. Adaptive Environments has been in business for more than 30 years. In that time, we have installed literally thousands of lifts for people throughout the State of Michigan. By and large, the vast majority of our customers are very happy with us and we have many hundreds of written testimonials from customers who rate our service as excellent. Does this make us perfect? Of course not. Have we stayed in business for more than 30 years and achieved our level of success by commonly ripping people off? Hardly.

The first point I must make is that of safety. At our company, we take the business of safety very seriously. Our trade is regulated by the Elevator SAFETY Division of the State of Michigan. Elevator Code is known as a SAFETY standard. Anyone who does not take SAFETY seriously is not going to stay in the elevator business for long. Certainly not for 30+ years as we have. We would never knowingly leave a lift in an unsafe condition following service. Unfortunately, it does happen that sometimes a customer is unable or unwilling to pay to have a machine repaired properly, or replaced when beyond reasonable repair. This has been the case in this instance. This customer has been unwilling or unable to pay for our repair work, or to replace the unit as we recommend.

The machine in question is about 10 years old and gets pretty heavy use. We suspect the unit may have been overloaded as it is being used by a large man in a heavy, powered wheelchair. We have no way of confirming this. In any case, the machine is fairly well worn and we have tried to keep it running for Mr. P. as best we could.

That we would be accused of, deliberately or otherwise, “seizing” the machine’s electric motor is simply ridiculous. ALL the products we sell and service have electric motors. Electric motors can and will and do wear out. When servicing machines, we must test them. When we test them, we have to run the electric motor. This motor was already worn out and simply quit running while we were testing the unit. We did nothing unusual to cause this to occur. No overloading, no electrical misconnections. Nothing. It just happened, as it inevitably would. Now the customer believes they should get a new replacement motor from us, free of charge. We just don’t see it that way.

In fact, this customer generally seems to feel that he is entitled to service without charge from us. We may have contributed to his sense of this because we continued to service the unit, even when we were not being paid. Since this past June, we have made five service visits and installed parts with zero compensation. Now, we are the ones being accused of “ripoff”.

As for us enjoying a “monopoly”, I could only wish this were so. In fact, we function in a highly competitive marketplace. Mr. P. could long ago have taken his business elsewhere. (I certainly wish he had done so.) In fact, within minutes after I had informed him that the VA was approving funding for us to repair his machine, he called to inform me that he had hired another company to do the work. This is, presumably, a company that will be paid for their services. We hope it all works out.

As for the personal stuff, I have come to understand that emotional issues often attend a person’s physical trauma. That’s why I hate to argue with people over the phone when emotions run hot. I will however, always respond in kind, to any written complaint and have done so, several times over the years. I usually try to put myself in the customer’s position and act accordingly. On a number of occasions, I have decided to discount or write-off entirely, service charges when I felt the customer had a valid point of contention. We have absorbed warranty costs after machines have exceeded warranty because I thought it was the right thing to do. We did this just today for a different customer although they had not even complained. The matter was simply brought to my attention by a member of our staff.

We always try to be fair with our customers, as we have always been with Mr. P. The communications might have been better handled on both of our parts but Mr. P. certainly has not been ripped-off here. I feel his anger is misplaced.


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