Just before Christmas my Permobil power chair begins making funny noises. Sounds somewhat like grinding, but more like a 'ratcheting' sound. With continued use it becomes obvious that the chair struggles to turn clockwise. Motor problems!
So I call up my service provider who sends out a tech to verify that it is the motor. As with all things these days, repairs are not done but the motor can be replaced.
Then I get a call from the shop. The motor is not a stock item kept in supply but has to be ordered from the U.S. Even with faxes, e-mails and overnight courier service, the motor will not arrive in Canada until the New Year.
The 'kicker' is that the replacement cost with labour will be $1137.99!!
So, I am in the manual chair over Christmas and New Years. Hard slogging over carpet, and I've never learned to balance a coffee cup on my head so that my hands are free to power the wheels.
Now I have replaced the batteries, the seat post, both mechanisms, one front non-drive caster wheel and the motor. I have re-upholstered the arm rests which disintegrated a few months after purchase.
So, in total, I have just about replaced or rebuilt this Permobil piece of junk from the floor up.
My service person offered this gem in response to my woes. He said "your chair was probably built on a Monday or a Friday". The implication was that on Mondays the workers are still to hung-over to do a proper job and on Fridays the anticipation of the weekend and getting drunk diverts there attention from that same proper job. Perhaps he's right...
I'm sure the motor will be rebuilt and resold, the profit belonging to the company.