Online Mobility Seller Pitfalls
One of our best dealers, United Access, recently posted a blog answering the question: Why buy mobility equipment at a local BraunAbility dealer vs. an online mobility seller? We liked what they had to say and thought we'd pass it on to the rest of our customer base as well:
- Will the vehicle fit my unique needs? There are many questions that need to be answered to make sure that the accessible vehicle you buy will be the most appropriate vehicle for your needs. Every situation is different, from how much room is needed in the wheelchair accessible vehicle to enter, exit and maneuver, to the size of your family and how you will use the vehicle. Mobility expert at your local dealer is trained and certified to ask the right questions and find the perfect vehicle to fit your needs. If you fail to get the proper diagnosis from an online mobility seller and receive a vehicle that doesn't work perfectly for your situation, you may end up caught with an expensive vehicle that doesn't fit your needs, abilities or lifestyle.
- Where do I take my vehicle for service? Any vehicle needs service and maintenance to make sure it works properly and is reliable for years to come. This is especially important when it comes to accessible vehicles or wheelchair lifts. You rely on your vehicle to get you around, and service is an important aspect of keeping your vehicle reliable. Your local NMEDA dealer has 24/7 service from certified technicians available for your peace of mind. If you purchase from an online mobility seller, this service would not be available to you. If you were to get stuck at 2 a.m. with your lift or ramp not working, there would be no one to call. Most Internet dealers claim to have a service network set up with local repair shops. Make sure to call those shops to see if they will service the adaptations before you purchase the handicapped van. You will find that many of them have no idea what you are talking about or will charge you extra money. Who do you want working on your vehicle, someone who is a trained and certified mobility system technician, available 24/7, or someone who has never even seen an adapted vehicle before? You should find that the convenience and peace of mind that service with a local dealer provides will more than makeup for a difference in price.
- Won't buying from an Internet dealer save me money? While a vehicle from an online mobility seller may seem to initially save some money, there are many things you want to look at to see if it provides a good value. According to NMEDA, things you want to consider are:
A. Can you personally see and test out the potential purchase to make sure it is right for you? (ex. Is it comfortable, is the eye height correct, can it be customized for my needs?)
B. Will the seller provide professional and thorough in-person training on the use of the equipment? (most online mobility sellers do not, local dealers do)
C. Can you have your adapted vehicle serviced in your local area by trained professionals who know you and your vehicle?
D. Will you be able to easily re-sell or trade-in your modified vehicle in the future?
E. Will they provide funding or help me find funding sources?
Consider the questions above when researching your options to decide if a local mobility dealer is right for you.
Thank you to NMEDA and United Access for the terrific advice. We have several members of the BraunAbility team down at the annual NMEDA conference - a terrific event that assembles manufacturers, dealers, rehab specialists and all types of professionals dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. We'll be back with some pics next week!