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    Buying a chair from a dealer vs. direct?

    All
    I posted a question a few months ago regarding your opinion of different wheelchair's and all of your input was so helpful, thank you. Because of all your very good advice I have decided on a TI ZRA. It will be my first chair and I am looking forward to placing the order and that is the reason for this question.
    As I explained I am going with the TI ZRa. I am still waiting for a final estimate from a chair dealer that I was assigned to from a Kessler chair clinic who barely returns my calls (I am being kind), but I think it will be around $6000. with a few unique options like a flip up footrest, jay2 cushion, D's locks and a Matrx PB Elite back of which my insurance company will only pay about $2500. before the deductible and its a new year.
    I took it upon myself to get a direct quote from Spinlife. I am still waiting for their quote but I expect they will be around $3000. and that will be confirmed tomorrow.
    My question to all of you is how much value can the dealer bring? I understand the concept of having local support but that's gouging.
    My concern is there is a lot that I do not know and I will have no one to assist but at what cost is that up charge justified.


    What is your opinion ? I am sure a lot of you have had the same situation. Are all these dealers so unprofessional?

    Thank you and Happy New Year. Ciao


    Making soup out of mud

    #2
    I think going through a dealer pretty much insures that, at the very least, they will adjust the footpedal length and back height. Having said that, if you can get the chair for half price at Spinlife I would go for it. It is a manual chair, so there are not all that many things that will need servicing (unlike a power chair) and three grand is a lot to toss away just to avoid a few adjustments.

    Comment


      #3
      i know most american insurance companies wont, but ill ask anyway... will they remburse you the $2500 towards the purchase of a wheelchair through other avenues than a dme (ie. sportaid)? mine will, which i only figured out after paying (mostly rembursment) an obscene amount of money to a dealer, when it would have been 1/3 the price at sportaid.

      Comment


        #4
        I have no direct experience of them and don't know if your NJ location is within their service area, but you might consider Wheelchair Medic as an aftersale support to help you finetune your chair.
        stephen@bike-on.com

        Comment


          #5
          dealers are nothing but incompetent morons. they will do know more than a trained monkey will do for u. worthless
          Bike-on.com rep
          John@bike-on.com
          c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
          sponsored handcycle racer

          Comment


            #6
            Like Fu I find the dealers to be useless also. It's like pulling teeth trying to have them return calls, make appointments and provide information. I can only imagine once they've made the sale their "service" would be even worse. In addition, the prices they charge are obscene. Do your homework. Go to a seating clinic to be sure you have the right dimensions on the chair you want and try out your brand of chair (TiLite, Quickie, etc.) if they have your model there. If you can, have them do pressure mapping on your butt so you won't be ordering a chair guaranteed to put a hole in your ass. A local bike shop, auto mechanic, family member, friend or neighbor can help you make small adjustments. Save your money for oil and gasoline,lol.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by fuentejps
              dealers are nothing but incompetent morons. they will do know more than a trained monkey will do for u. worthless
              I actually have ran into a good company for working on my power chair and one to come. You're very correct about return calls, they are few and far between.

              My next chair will cost about $35k, of which insurance will only cover about $5k. I would say go direct for you, it sounds like the best option.
              C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.

              Comment


                #8
                Smokey- Good advice and I did go to a wheelchair clinic at Kessler here in NJ. Therefore I am 98% comfortable with the specs and choice of the TI ZRA chair. I have a call into the OT at Kessler to ask about making an appointment to fine tune the chair with her after I get it shipped assuming I go the direct route..... Thanx
                Making soup out of mud

                Comment


                  #9
                  Fu

                  Very funny and so true. The dealer has no pulse and should change his career to selling caskets....
                  Making soup out of mud

                  Comment


                    #10
                    wheelchair medic

                    Originally posted by stephen212
                    I have no direct experience of them and don't know if your NJ location is within their service area, but you might consider Wheelchair Medic as an aftersale support to help you finetune your chair.
                    Stephen- I will contact wheelchair medic. They are in my area being I am in north NJ outside of NYC.... good call! thanx
                    Making soup out of mud

                    Comment


                      #11
                      What kind of chair costs $35k, Trainman, a Balder or IBot?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        My local dealer whom i rented a chair from almost fainted when he saw i got a $300 lightweight foldup just by spending 5 minutes googling fir it



                        i dont think they have a good grasp of reality, and ps, thanks to this board i'll should be getting my SpaZz_G with leather trim in midnight purple any day now.

                        $1122 total costs from www.LiveWellmedical.com

                        ps, special thanks to Amy for the info, i could almost cry...

                        Dont firget to sing this song when buying a chair:

                        They want me to pay retail butt i said No No No!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by fuentejps
                          dealers are nothing but incompetent morons. they will do know more than a trained monkey will do for u. worthless
                          I've used the same dealer for 30 years and they are very good! Fuentejps,you need to grow up some or get out more! I don't think you realize how you come across to others. That said,I enjoy your contributions to this board.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            to get the right power wheelchair to meet all your ALS needs you need to go to a Wheelchair Seating Clinic.

                            This clinic is designed to assist individuals who are first time wheelchair users in obtaining the most appropriate chair and seating system.

                            Evaluations are performed by an occupational or physical therapist for manual chairs, power/electric chairs, back systems and seat systems.

                            Physical Measurement:
                            Poor alignment in a wheelchair or a poorly fitted chair can create:
                            • pain in any area of the body
                            • increased tone or spasticity
                            • decreased control of one's arms or legs
                            • pressure of build-up on bony structures resulting in ulcers or sores
                            • structural problems of the musculoskeletal system
                            • breathing difficulties
                            • inability to propel in chair
                            • swelling in lower legs

                            most big ALS clinics have a seating clinic.


                            Contact your local ALS clinic or MND association, you will find that many have an equipment library that you can borrow from. We've been fortunate enought to get both a manual and a power wheel chair and alternate between the two as see fit. They will also offer guidance and advice on which option will best suit your need.
                            We also purchased a portable ramp. This is made from fibreglass and is quite light, it folds up and is easily caried and stored in the boot of the car. Have a look at these web sites for more info on ramps:
                            http://medramps.com/products.htm#ramps
                            http://www.portable-wheelchair-ramps.com/
                            http://www.discountramps.com/fiberglass_wheelchair_ramps.htm

                            Great tips and experience so far. Physiotherapists and/or OT's are usually the specialists in this area. To get some good initial information it is a good idea to contact your physio or OT in the first instance if you are already seeing one, they should visit and assess your needs and refer on to the appropriate seating/wheelchair clinic as Bobby notes.

                            Your local ALS clinic if you are being seen in a specialist clinic could be your first stop, and if not then your neuro and local ALS chapter should be able to point you in the right direction.

                            You need the specialist 'know how' to properly assess what you need to support your weakness at the moment, but also to look into the future and guide re your future needs as well.

                            As Libby highlights in her reply it is important to be assessed by an experienced practitioner who knows about ALS and the progressive nature of the condition. What works now may not be quite so suitable as weakness progresses. Alterations will inevitably be needed but if you get it on balance mostly right first time you can add to posture/ neck support as things progress.

                            Having a comfortable and supportive chair is vital. The assessment and ordering/manufacturing process can take a while, so if you feel like you could benefit from using a wheelchair then best to start the process asap.
                            ALS/MND Registry
                            http://www.patientslikeme.com/registry

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by BobbyB
                              to get the right power wheelchair to meet all your ALS needs you need to go to a Wheelchair Seating Clinic.

                              .
                              I have a question, how much do they charge?

                              After my accident my agent told me i was mistaken when i thought my motorcycle insurance coverd me for riding a motorcycle, what was i thinkin...

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