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Purchasing In Store vs Purchasing Online

This entry was posted in General September 27, 2018

At Ableworld we have a strong ethical selling policy that works in hand with our honest and caring approach to selling mobility products. Across our 34 UK stores our friendly staff are happy to help you find the right product to meet your individual mobility needs. However, we feel that recently many of our customers are becoming influenced by purchasing mobility products online, often being persuaded by the price. We are aware of the limitations and benefits to purchasing in store and online, particularly in regards to the mobility aids sector. We have highlighted some important factors for our customers to consider.

Ethical Selling Policy

At Ableworld we are an ethical mobility retailer that strongly believes that before purchasing some items of mobility equipment customers should be correctly assessed and advised which product fits their needs best. This ensures both us and our customers that the correct product is chosen with the customers’ needs and health in mind, rather than just selecting the most expensive mobility aid. We believe that the wrong product sold over the internet without a proper assessment could lead to added complications for a person’s condition. Due to this we have an assessment and demonstration policy whereby there are several ranges of products which we will not sell online, these include Riser Recliner chairs, Scooters, Powerchairs and Wheelchairs. This policy differs to purchasing online, as in store we consider the customer’s needs for their own well-being, not merely just for an online order.

Interaction

In all of our Ableworld stores you will be looked after from start to finish by our friendly and well trained staff that are on hand to help with any mobility queries. Our staff will spend as much time as needed with you, and give advice when needed. When comparing to online, there is only the written text information that can be assessed, without any demonstration or advice. This can often lead to misinterpretation and customers selecting the wrong products for their needs, and making the whole process even more stressful.

In store we will provide our advice and guidance to all customers then follow with our demonstration and assessment policy. Online there is no social interaction with a real person, only computerised form filling that can be extremely repetitive and confusing. This is an aspect that we want our customers to avoid at Ableworld, as we want to ensure our customers feel comfortable and confident in their overall purchase.

Security

Often when shopping online many customers feel unsafe about the security and reliance of the order purchase being completed. There is a limitation of frequently having to pay on either a credit card or through a PayPal account online, something which some people do not own, or would prefer not to use. As you hear through the local press, some websites cannot be trusted, therefore are you happy giving your credit card details and personal data to an unknown source? In store there is always the great advantage of using cash or either credit or debit card as means of a secure payment through trusted till systems. At Ableworld we also promise that we will never sell your data onto Third parties, another security aspect that cannot be fully guaranteed online.

Returns & Exchange Process

Although the convenience of shopping online is often seemed to be greater and more accessible, it can also however become a longer and more drawn out process. The items you see online cannot be checked for the condition, and you would not know if the item you are buying is new or used. At Ableworld we only sell brand new items in our stores, unless clearly stated otherwise. Our in store returns process for purchased items is extremely straightforward as all of our stores are open either 6 or 7 days a week, and can be returned in store for free. When ordering products online there are often additional costs to return and ship goods back to the sender, and also a delayed time for the refund payment to be processed. This delay could mean weeks without a replacement mobility aid, where for some people it will be urgently needed. In our Ableworld stores a refund is generated at the time of return, or an exchange is made promptly so that the customer is not left unaided.

Price

Although it is renowned for customers shopping online because products are ‘cheaper’, this is quite often not always the option with mobility products. The price you see in store at Ableworld includes demonstration, set up and 6 months free insurance on selected items, plus of course full warranty. Online there is the query that you may have to pay additional costs for delivery, set up and insurance, on top of the displayed price for the product itself. The cost online often increases after the initial purchase has been made, and then ‘add-ons’ are suggested- some that you cannot do without.

Engineering

At Ableworld we have a large team of engineers based across the UK that are fully trained to service and repair selected products. If you have purchased your products from us in store there are preferential rates for your mobility services in the future. From stores our experienced engineers can install, repair and service a great selection of mobility aids, including wheelchairs, stairlifts and mobility scooters. When comparing to purchases online there is the question of how you will get your products serviced when there is no physical store to visit. The care and maintenance of any mobility products is important for the long term upkeep of the product, something that could easily be forgotten, or more difficult and expensive to source.

Although we are fully aware that there are limitations and advantages to purchasing both in store and online, we feel that the benefits of buying mobility aids in store comes at a longer term advantage for the customer. At Ableworld we are a company that genuinely cares about the customer’s well-being, and although we pride ourselves on not pressure selling items, we are aware that there are many companies that do this, particularly online. We want to reiterate that finding the cheapest price for a product is not always the cheapest or most suitable solution for the long term.

For additional advice or information please contact us. Furthermore to find your local store please click here.

 

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Ableworld feature on ITV National News 

This entry was posted in General September 19, 2018

Ableworld have always demonstrated an ethical approach to selling, and at a time when many Mobility retailers have given in and sold scooters online with no checks, Ableworld strongly believes that before purchasing Mobility Scooters customers should be correctly assessed and advised which Scooter fits their needs best.

After a sharp increase in Mobility Scooter fatalities pressure is mounting on the Government to impose stricter regulations on mobility scooters. 

Taking it one step further Ableworld also run Scooter Proficiency Sessions. These sessions are completely free and are aimed at people who don’t feel confident driving a Mobility Scooter. Included is a chance to drive on a test track accompanied by a member of staff, have their Scooters checked over and a chance to ask staff any questions about mobility scooters.

As Ableworld have always demonstrated an ethical approach to selling and the introduction 4 years ago of our Scooter Proficiency sessions, Ableworld were approached by ITV National News to talk about Mobility Scooter Safety.

The ITV News segment was aired recently on the 6.30pm National News with a slightly longer segment on the 10pm National News. It included a Scooter Proficiency Session at Pickmere Nursing Home in Crewe with residents riding on the Test Track accompanied by Store Manager Darren Evans, Engineer, Mark Burrows carrying out safety checks on the scooters and a short interview from Senior Marketing Manager Michelle Mossford talking about the importance of the training sessions.

Approximately 4 hours of filming turned into a short 3 minute segment but was well worth it as it was the first time Ableworld had ever featured on National TV.

Not only do Ableworld run regular Scooter Proficiency sessions aimed at keeping customers safe, but also produce a free Highway Code for Mobility Scooters and Users. This free guide covers everything you need to know in order to stay safe whilst using a mobility scooter. It also includes the DVLA registration process, advice on insurance and guidance on how to use your scooter safety.

Pick up your free, easy to use, and illustrated Highway Code today from your local Ableworld store.

Please watch the ITV News segment to the right, or click here for a full list of all Ableworld stores. 

 

 

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Checking your wheelchair is Crash Tested and safe to transport in a vehicle

This entry was posted in General September 10, 2018

Wheelchairs are a mobility aid commonly used by thousands of people around the UK on a daily basis for a variety of mobility needs. If you are looking at purchasing a wheelchair, an important factor to consider is if it is compatible to be used inside a vehicle such as a mini bus, taxi or car. Many wheelchair users often find travelling a challenge or worry about how they will get to places such as hospital appointments if they struggle manoeuvring in and out of their chair. Many wheelchair users may find it more comfortable when remained seated in their own wheelchair while travelling, so it is important to ensure it is safe to be used within a vehicle. We find that many customers do not understand what the term “Crash Tested” actually refers too, but the safety of our customers is of the highest importance to us here at Ableworld, so we hope this quick guide helps to give you a better understanding.

What does Crash Tested Mean?

If a manufacturer refers to a wheelchair as “Crash Tested” or “Transportable” it means that the wheelchair is safe to be pushed inside a suitable vehicle during travel, that features anchor points that can be secured into place with the occupant seated within the wheelchair. The anchor points within the vehicle are used by attaching straps to the anchor points on the wheelchair. These straps are then tightened to ensure the wheelchair will not move in the event of an accident and therefore protecting the wheelchair user from harm when travelling.

How do I know if my wheelchair is Crash Tested?

Wheelchairs that have been manufactured and suitably tested for secure use within a suitable vehicle will be marked clearly on the wheelchair with anchor symbols featured on the frame of the wheelchair, similar to the image to the right. The icon is most commonly displayed on the front frame of the chair, however details are also clearly stated within the user manual, and we include details on the individual product pages on our Ableworld website.

Are all Wheelchairs Crash Tested or only certain types?

No, not all wheelchairs are crash tested and you should double check the manufacturers guide and look for the anchor symbols on the wheelchair frame to check. There are a variety of crash tested models available from Ableworld, including Self Propel wheelchairs, which have larger rear wheels that allow the user to propel themselves to travel, or our Transit Wheelchairs, whereby the wheelchair user is pushed by a carer, friend or family member with the rear handles. You must check for compatibility before transport and do not just presume your wheelchair model is compatible.

Is it safe to use my wheelchair in a vehicle?

If your wheelchair has been declared as safe by the manufacturer and the transport you are using is fitted with the capability of carrying a passenger seated within a wheelchair, then it should be safe. This is subject to the wheelchair being fitted correctly to all of the anchor points and that the user is wearing a suitable 3 point seatbelt. Please note a Wheelchair lap belt is not a suitable seatbelt for use in a vehicle.

Taxi companies and ambulance staff should all be suitably trained on securing a wheelchair into their vehicle as they are responsible for the safety of their passengers, and will ensure you are secure before departing. If you are unsure then please don’t be afraid to ask the driver or enquire when booking a taxi if they are trained to carry and secure wheelchair passengers.

At Ableworld we stock a range of wheelchairs in our stores, many of which have been crash tested and feature the anchor logo. If you are unsure whether the wheelchair you own is crash tested please do not hesitate to contact the store which you purchased it from.

To view all of our wheelchairs online please visit our category page here. For additional information about the wheelchairs we sell, or for a free demonstration please pop into your local store and our fully trained staff can answer any concerns you may have.

 

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