Earlier this week Aero Lift sent a "Repair Technician" to the residence of xxxxxxx of Elkhart Lake. Xxxxxx is in need of his lift chair on a regular basis and his wife xxxx, recovering from a broken hip, has no other option but the chair for some weeks to come.
The main Travel cable inside the track system of their unit jumped it's guide and ended up pinched and inevitably cut behind the main drive gear. Neighbors took the chair assembly apart to free the wire from the gear. When the cut was discovered they knew a new cord was needed and called Aero Lift to provide the part and re-assembly. The lift was fully operational until the power cord was cut. Not rocket science as this is an older unit, I've seen them before.
Aero Lift's Technician:
DID NOT as instructed, contact xxxxxx (A family friend and neighbor) before he arrived as he is handling these matters for the xxxxx's who are both well into their Eighties. Something I would think is fairly common in this business
DID NOT inspect or service the unit in any way. I know exactly how the unit was left. As I stopped in the previous day to inspect it. The chair unit and guards were removed from the track, and the broken section of cable was left exposed for the Tech to see. Entering the stairway wasn't even necessary to "diagnose" the problem.
HE DID, however, take one look at it and informed The xxxxxxx that being an older unit, it is a "Pain to work on".
I was later told by Areo lifts office that this lift has not been manufactured for 5 to 7 years. They seem to feel that every 5 years, another purchase totaling thousands of dollars in a new lift PLUS installation should be considered acceptable! Let's not forget a service plan.
HE DID leave Aero Lift's phone number and information with xxxxxx and pitched a trade in program (My Guess, commissioned) on a new unit. I'm assuming the "Closer" would try to sell him one of Aero Lift's service plans as well. REPEAT BUSINESS! (Commissions though denied, or "incentives of any sort" are assumptions made by myself and are not confirmed).
I would think while taking a service order by phone, one would ask the customer what model chair will be serviced, allowing the Tech to bring the correct parts. If the lift is obsolete or deemed a liability you would at this time inform the customer that Aero can not or will not service that particular model. Apparently this was not done as Aero Lift would not have sent a Tech to the home if the model was one in question.
I was repeatedly told over the phone that this was a diagnostic call (Not a service call). O.K.; Diagnose the problem, note the model, run back to the shop for that model's parts, and charge ANOTHER $180.00 trip charge? I don't see the logic.
After Mr. Xxxxxxx made it fully aware that he did not want a new chair, It is the repairman's job to... Repair. The work order is in his hand, the mileage is on his van, the customer did not fall for the bait and switch, and mostly, there are two elderly people who are immobile in their own home. If your guy doesn't want to work on the unit because it's not what he's used to, HE can pay the day's fuel and eat his own wages, NOT the customer.
FACT: I was informed that Aero Lift charges the $180.00 Flat rate diagnostic fee NO MATTER WHAT IS (Or Isn't) DONE at the residence.in essence It's a $180.00 fuel bill!
FACT: I was informed to put a new track power cable on this unit would cost $1000.00!!!
OPINION: Smells like someone found the perfect business preying on the elderly, remember the real kicker... A $180.00 bill for the SALES CALL? (You CAN'T call it a service charge). Not acceptable in any way, shape, or form.
A QUICK NOTE: Our parents did their job and Kept us out of harm's way. Now it's our turn to look out for them.