Saturday, 6 August 2016

A New Motor to Replace my New Motor

Those who have followed my posts know that both my Permobil motors failed this year, within a month of each other.  Motors are not stocked in Canada and so have to be ordered and shipped from the United States.  You would think that with Faxing and e-mails orders could be placed withing minutes and with overnight courier shipping, items could arrive the next would think!

Followers may also know that one of my new motors acted up shortly after being installed.  With Permobil "shortly" is a very subjective term.  As best that could be determined, without a displayed code, and non-existent help from Permobil in Tennessee, was that the motor brake would not release.  The result was that I would spin in circles when trying to drive.

At the repair shop, the problem disappeared as it had appeared -without cause or notice.  The chair was returned to me but I had little confidence in its operation -when would this happen again?  I thought that was the end of it.

However, the repair manager at Motion Specialties repair facility did not give up.  Unbeknown to me he contacted Permobil in the U.S. once more and requested a replacement motor for my chair.  Motion specialties U.S. pointed out to him that the motor was over 3 months old and therefore the warranty had expired.  If I was to get another new motor, I would have to lay out another $945.54 (base price) and buy a new one outright!

My service manager took the issue right up to the CEO (if I understood him correctly) asking him if their products were so poorly manufactured, and that they, themselves had so little confidence in them, that they would only offer an 90 day warranty on their product.  After some discussion  Permobil authorized a replacement motor at no cost (original replacement to be returned to them).
I know of no disabled people who could afford to lay out $945.54, (installation is extra), ninety days after having just done that-twice!!!

Still, the problem occurred in July and it was only yesterday, August 5th, that the motor was exchanged.  Motion Specialties is very busy now that it has acquired Shoppers Home Healthcare's dropped operation.  However, they have always acted in a timely and punctual manner.  I have to wonder if it took over a month for Permobil U.S. to act.

I have to believe that this replacement motor of a replacement motor will work for the duration of this chair's life...or significantly longer than 90 days, in order to get my $945.54 out of it.

So, kudos to Motion Specialties, and my service manager for going above and beyond on my behalf.  Another big 'raspberry' to Permobil for producing a lousy product and not fully standing behind it.  For the former, their customers are everything; for the latter, profit is everything.

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Again, I asked my service manager "why does your company continue to offer Permobil wheelchairs if they are this bad"  He replied that he had never seen a chair such as mine that essentially had to be replaced and rebuilt from the ground up in now, just four years.  He told me that they just received a Permobil powerchair in the shop that is having its first motor replaced after 9 years of service.  All I can think of is that they made things better almost a decade ago.

I will let the reader of this blog decide for themselves if Permobil is worth the risk.

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