Disability aids, equipment and technology
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Does anyone have experience of buying a Lith-Tech folding power chair?

Hi all,

I'm about to buy my first power chair and have done a lot of research as they are obviously pretty expensive! I've narrowed my search and I think these guys look pretty good: https://lith-tech.com/ 

I can see that they let you go up and try out the chairs in person, and as I'm not too far away, I'm thinking of doing that.

They get good reviews on trust pilot, but I just wondered if anyone here had experience of visiting their warehouse, using their chairs, or whether their customer service is as good as it sounds? 

Thanks for reading my first post on Scope :-)

Lucy

Replies

  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,002

    Scope community team

    Welcome to the community @Lucy_Pointycat :) Thanks for joining, and writing your first post.

    I don't have any experience of this company I'm afraid, so I really couldn't say. I'd have thought that if you're close-by, it'd probably be worth going and having a look for yourself. Is there someone that could go with you? 
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  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 713 Pioneering
    Well, their best selling version looks good for ground clearance and the large thick wheels* front and back. But it is 23 kg.  The carbon one at 17kg is a downgrade because it's pretty much for paved surfaces only. I like that none of their models have those horrid projecting handles at the back.  I would want to know if the controller can be a) switched easily, to give the dominant hand a break at times? b) twisted inwards, to make the end of the armrest the thing that projects most prominently and therefore bashes into doorways, not your delicate hand and not the delicate controller? 
     (My ideal controller would be one on my lap, in a normal position for a human to read a book or use a  laptop, and I have in the past achieved this by removing the wretched controller from the arm in desperation, but it is not really satisfactory.  I had a one-wheel controller  with battery on the stick, like an electric bike, with short and of course central handlebars for steering, which fits onto a standard folding manual chair so it could in total weigh very little  )
    * I wish manufacturers would make smooth disc-covered wheels, so the user doesn't have to clean mud and dog dirt off the wheels, in order to avoid tracking it all into their home, all while crouched in the rain, a position many users cannot get into. (See Spinal Column Melanie Phillips in the Times)  There are other alternatives to those damnable spokes, such as one with three circles, which is at least not so awkward as multiple spokes. In my reformed world, a manufacturer would not be allowed to market anything he has not tested personally, in the same way the user will.  In other words he cannot use a garden hose unless he markets exclusively to those customers with gardens and hoses.  He must instead assume he lives in an upstairs flat, and must clean the chair before going into the shared entrance hall and lift.   Above all he must assume he can hardly move much at all, has hardly any strength and dexterity, and has both front and back wheels caked in excrement. He must never, never, assume that every wheelchair user comes with a 24 hour personal servant, so remarks about "partners" to lift things are banned.   Many users will need to use their own, reduced, strength and agility to heave their chairs around.
  • Lucy_PointycatLucy_Pointycat Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thanks so much to both of you for commenting - especially for such detailed feedback from @newborn which was excellent! I took that into account and it knocked the carbon fibre one out of the running for me. I had seen a few videos showing the carbon fibre one supposedly going over very rugged terrain, shooting off the edge of a full kerb like an action movie etc, but my evaluation of Lith-Tech as a company is that it's a lot of showmanship and impressive sales technique but also a lot of inflated stats and higher prices, and really nothing to distinguish it from other companies selling the same models under different names. I got in touch with a polite email asking if we could visit on a saturday (they advertised saturday opening on their website) and the reply was abrasive and said they couldn't open saturdays and used some 'negging' techniques straight out of those awful pick up artist type dating guides. It really put me off, and made me realise that there are a lot of brands out there built around entrepreneurs who are building a small business out of importing the exact same models from asia that all of the main companies are, but inflating their stats, plastering their own logos on them, calling them different names - even adding different nobs and buttons or picking bits off them in some cases, to make them look unique! Then they add a grand on to the price and sell it to innocent disabled people, and after a few years, liquidate their business and off they go to another, different venture. So when people then look for a repair on their warranty, they're out of luck.

    In the end I decided to go with a company called Mobility Hire that also work with Motability. I took out a short term hire of the Horizon Gadabout Folding Powerchair so I could make my mind up about whether it was suitable for me, and I've loved it. It's the same model that is being sold variously around the internet as the Foldachair D09, and I'm pretty sure it's also the EeZeeGo-QC2.

    I'm probably going to take the long lease option from Mobility Hire, as that way I can change up to a different model in a year and a half if something new comes on to the market, but I was pretty impressed with how this one handled. I took it up some steep hills, over grass, and it managed pavements blighted by tree roots and bins with no problem. It also has a great turning circle. It's too heavy for me to lift on my own, so it wouldn't suit everyone though. However it does fit in the boot of my Fiat 500 convertible which quite frankly, is borderline miraculous!
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