Technological advances, wheelchairs, and exceptional customer service

Modern technology gets ever more advanced all the time. As it does, equipment we use every day becomes increasingly complicated to use.

customer service

High tech, need help? Ask a child. (Pic:

Not only do we face that problem with a host of computers, tablets, and smart phones (just where is there a 5-year-old, when you need one), there are also satellite tv boxes, DVDs and Blu-rays. Then there are those microwaves with so many controls you feel as though you need a pilot’s licence to operate them

Vehicles have certainly progressed over the years, so much that manufacturers are now road-testing driverless cars. Whether that is an exciting development or a terrifying step-too-far depends on your point of view.

Wheelchairs have also developed though, to be honest, not to the same scale. Of course, there are chairs that can climb steps, and others that support the user in a standing position. Impressive, I agree, but I want to talk about chairs used more widely.

I have two wheelchairs. One is a manual, technically capable of being self-propelled, the other is a foldable, lightweight electric-powered chair.

My disability is caused by multiple sclerosis that mainly affects the left side of my body. This means that I cannot operate the manual chair, I can only use my right hand and end up going around and around in left-hand circles. Instead, I need to rely on someone, normally my wife Lisa, to push me. That’s why I now use an electric-powered chair that I can control with my one good hand.

More advances, more to go wrong

The trouble is, the more advanced anything is technically, the more likelihood there is that it will suffer a breakdown and need repair. That’s just the way life is, things go wrong and need putting right.


That’s me in my electric-powered wheelchair visiting the HSCT centre in Moscow in 2016. Pictured with me are Dr Fedorenko and his assistant Anastasia.

A couple of months ago, my power chair started acting up. It kept on power suddenly before puling to the left and stopping. Fearing a faulty motor or other issue with the electrics, it was with some trepidation that I contacted Shaun Atkinson, owner of the supplier, Better Products for Disabled People (BPDP). But I shouldn’t have been worried, he listened, he understood, and diagnosed the problem. Then he told me how to fix it. It was simple, no new parts needed, all fixed in five minutes.

What impressed me, though, was the great commitment to customer service.

That was further illustrated when one of the front wheels got caught, sideways on, on a concrete ridge and the power of the back wheels caused the trapped front wheel to collapse.

Again, I contacted Shaun at BPDP and was amazed that he arranged for a replacement for the broken part to be sent the very next day  

Now, that’s what I call the very best in customer service. Well done, BPDP.

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at with other companies and products. Read more.

* * * * * is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is for your general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues. Also, consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely my own unless otherwise stated.

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