THESE NEXT 5 POINTS WILL NOT ONLY HELP YOU, BUT ALSO EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE ON FOLDING ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIRS, THE INDUSTRY AND WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR.
- Never Ever buy a wheelchair from an overseas company
A very simple rule to go by when choosing any chair online is – if it looks too good to be true or seems cheap compared to the rest of the market, then there is always a reason why. (Ever heard the expression, you get what you pay for) This saying can’t be anymore true than when purchasing a wheelchair. It is physically impossible to produce a quality and reliable chair which has decent parts, batteries, motors, a safe ands strong frame but that is also lightweight enough to be desirable and do its job properly for under around £1500. Not to mention the tiny fact that it must be fully tested, regulated, Uk compliant and most importantly the company should have decent products liability policy which protects you as a customer in case you ever hurt yourself due to a product fault or it catches on fire and burns your house down. Fact is an overseas company selling to a uk customer can’t offer any product liability insurance. This means it’s completely impossible for you to ever sue or even try and claim for any damages, loss or ever get back a penny in the event of an accident.
Overseas ‘mainly Chinese chairs’ may seem cheaper as an upfront cost. But that is the only thing good about them, and even the cheap upfront cost you originally spent out always ends up costing you more in the long run tenfold.
The minute you buy a chair online from any ‘wheelchair company’ that isn’t actually based in the UK you have literally just shot yourself in the foot and wasted all your hard earned savings and money that you’ve just spent!.
By far the biggest problem UK wheelchair uses are faced with though is buying a chair from a company that offers decent warranty and aftercare.
The online sellers on Ebay that are from overseas offer you a ‘so called’ warranty that means absolutely nothing. Once something goes wrong there will be no point of contact or call when you breakdown. (Which you will) You won’t be able to can call them because they are a Chinese company and won’t even have a phone number listed. This then leaves you no choice but to try emailing them. Once these companies get a warranty claim or an enquiry regarding a fault they will completely blank or block you. If you’re actually lucky enough for them to respond to you by email then they will have no idea what’s actually faulty with your chair as they can’t see it first hand and then they will expect you to work out the fault for yourself, or make you take pictures or videos of the fault (which most customers wouldn’t understand how to do in the first place) before they will even help you. If you are then eventually lucky enough to get them to send you a part (which might even end up being wrong as it’s they are only guessing what could be wrong as they have not seen your chair)
You then wait 30 days for the part to be delivered from china (which they even sometimes make you pay for) before they will even ship it to you. They will also always make you pay for the shipping costs which are not cheap as the goods have to travel 5000 miles before they reach you and even worse you will be stuck paying the import duty on the goods when you finally end up with it in the UK.
Lastly, after waiting over a month completely immobile and helpless you end up receiving your part and then have to either work out how to fit this part yourself or you have to cough up even more money to pay someone else to do it.
The final Icing on the cake is, most companies will not even touch or fix any wheelchairs that was not originally bought from them directly. More so most refuse to touch a chair that isn’t well known from a UK company or Brand.