Disability aids, equipment and technology
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Is there anywhere to get refurbished or repaired equipment?

dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
Is there any projects in London that do this, maybe on a charitable basis  especially powered wheelchairs 

Replies

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @dkb123, this sounds like such a good idea! I am unaware if this kind of thing exists but I can look into it if other community members haven't heard of anything like this. I know wheelchair companies can do discontinued models at a reduced price, especially the ones that have been in showrooms. I guess this would depend on how customised you would require the chair as these models would be pretty standard.
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  • foxukfoxuk Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
    Check ebay there are many businesses disposing of trade-in chairs.  Search for 'electric wheelchair' or 'power chair'.

    Before buying check the seller's feedback - anything under 99.5% positive is BAD.

    Avoid private sellers like the plague. It is still a system of Caveat Emptor - Let the buyer beware, for private sales.

    Always use PayPal, never pay cash, bank transfer or Western Union.

    Bought mine last year for around £500 needed new batteries a year later (also bought on ebay new and cheap) still going strong. Retail for mine would have been £3000 ish. OK it's got a few scrapes and cosmetic bumps BUT after a few weeks with me driving a new one would have looked just as bad.

    Check that they will allow collection if local OR will arrange delivery if from a distance. This can cost £30 upwards. If the seller says it's easier for you to do it forget buying from them.

    There are still some imports direct from China. If it looks exactly the same as the UK model costing literally five to ten times the price it probably is the same. BUT you may get caught out for import duties and VAT even though those aren't supposed to be charged. My wife's Chinese chair cost around £500 new 10 years ago and lasted about 7 years. 

    That's probably more than you ever wanted to know? Good luck.

    Jon

    P.S. There are a few 'not for profit' businesses selling refurbished chairs - We looked at the prices and at the time would have bought new UK rather than taken the risk on a second hand chair at the price they were asking.
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    Thanks for your input , I know that the Motability scheme has been cut back because of the Benefits, PIP, DLA cuts and the NHS not supplying the chairs as they did , ,there are a lot of chairs and scooters on Ebay and other sites that are very cheap because people find it so expensive to repair and maintain them , so maybe a sponsored workshop run by a charity would be the answer were they can be reconditioned by maybe volunteer mechanics or a training project , I hope one of the big charities would fund a pilot, and see if there was a demand for this kind of service 
  • foxukfoxuk Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
    The repair and maintenance  of wheelchairs is limited by the inability for people to access the workshop manuals and spares. Even if spares are available the cost is prohibitive.
    The whole 'disability industry' is based on overcharging and astronomical mark-ups, with very few exceptions. 
    The basic framework of a wheelchair is robust and will last for decades if cleaned and oiled regularly. Pneumatic tyres can be replaced by very cheap equivalents from cycle shops.
    Why does a wheelchair joystick cost a small fortune when one for a pc costs pennies? The control has the same basic function. Scale of manufacture does not justify the great difference in cost.
    There have been a couple of refurb workshops set up but the ones I have seen seem to be run on a 'what the market will bear' principle (rip off 101) not 'a fair deal benefits both parties' resulting with prices the same of greater than commercial enterprises with the unique selling point being that they are run by charities....... makes me think basic morality should be part of the managers essential skills requirement.
    Having been in business for many years I believe that the most difficult problem to overcome would be insurance. It would be needed and it would be expensive. The testing of chairs and scooters that were refurbished would have to be to the same safety standards as new items. Logically this should cost the same as for those selling new imports but I can see the insurance companies rubbing their hands at the profits they can make from 'high risk' sales.
    The secondary problem would be qualification of mechanics/engineers. I have not heard of an industry standard qualification and do not know of a way around this problem unless a tertiary college could be persuaded to offer an electric vehicle certificate.

    Jon

    P.S. Yes I have thought a LOT about this over the years.

    P.P.S. The Motability service has not been cut for those with qualifying benefits. The access to those benefits has been cut by HMG which is a whole another item. Motability is one of the biggest rip offs ever perpetrated  on disabled people in many people's opinion.
  • LaughingLollyLaughingLolly Member Posts: 101 Pioneering
    I agree with the eBay idea though so your research beforehand. I'm a wheelchair geek 
    A laugh a day keeps the psychiatrist at bay. 
  • AlexandriaUKAlexandriaUK Member Posts: 40 Courageous
    Hi I was supplied my original ♿ by the NHS 3 years ago and other than a clean and oil it's still fine, it was fitted for me personally, I thought anyone who needs one got it free?? I must say it doesn't get used every day because so long as its not a great distance I can manage on my crutches but unfortunately like many I can't be without it.
    My local bike shop service it as it's got all the same components. 
    Not too expensive either 
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    your very lucky to have a good local NHS ,I can assure you that many GPs will not refer patients to the wheelchair service and when they do ,the test is that you can't walk at all, so many patients end up having to  buy their own
  • dkb123dkb123 Member Posts: 121 Pioneering
    to Laughing lolly , buying second hand is Buyer Beware , as a lot of sellers just want rid of a brokedown machine ,want it out of the way ,or had a repair quote that is too much to  pay for , they will not tell the buyer about the faults, maybe there should be a national scheme  like the AA operate for cars were a mechanics inspection report is provided at little cost , Should save a lot of hassle and money 
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