Welcome back to another Mobility Monday!
Today I thought I’d talk about trust issues. When it comes to being disabled, differently-abled or having a dependency of any kind on someone or something, trust plays a big part. I need to trust my mobility aid or wheelchair will get me safely where I need to go. I need to trust my carer will take care of my mobility aid when loading or moving it. I need to trust that I can ask for help on a particularly steep hill or bump and have that help be focused and full. I need to trust those who I’m buying my mobility aid from, as often they are expensive and life-changing purchases.
I’ve lost all trust in my NHS wheelchair after the disastrous past 6 months of care. It has broken down or behaved very erratically twice again since Christmas. It has gone from full battery to flashing red almost out in a matter of an hour or so, each time I’ve been a distance from home and needing to cross busy roads which is terrifying in a temperamental ‘chair. It seems to be adversely affected by cold and windy weather now, which was never a factor before. I can’t trust it enough to go out independently with it and I can’t trust the company who are supposed to fix it after the horrendous customer service and care experienced there either.
I am lucky enough to have help from family who I trust more than anyone. I am also lucky enough to be able to understand my disabilities and needs thoroughly, which has enabled me to independently research deeply into what I need to help me with my daily life. A lot of people aren’t as lucky as me though and rely on mobility shops and dealers to tell them what they should be buying. Unfortunately, there are a number of companies out there who are more focused on selling expensive and inappropriate products for profit, rather than selling the customer what they need. There are also a number of well meaning sales advisors who simply don’t have the knowledge to be able to help their customers fully, through lack of training and support from their employers. This can of course be said about most large retailers, of course the focus is on profit and success for the business but when it comes to helping people live their lives fully and freely, the focus really can and should be on trust and honesty.
This is just my perspective as a customer within the disability market, however Toby from Lith-Tech, the UK’s fastest growing folding and electric wheelchair company, has decided to take a stand and write his own views regarding disability aid retailers. You can read what he has to say about the industry he is trying to change, here.
Have you ever felt pressured into buying something that wasn’t right for your needs? Do you think the mobility industry needs a modern and honest shake up? Let me know below!