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    16th August 2010

    The latest on my Southwest wheelchair debacle…

    I’m calling it a debacle now because that really is what it is. It’s a mess. Southwest customer relations is a mess, too. There has been one gentleman who has been helpful, but when he is not working, nobody thinks to follow up on anything related to my wheelchair.

    There have been a number of things that have been ridiculous about the whole scenario to me. First, that it has taken so long for their vendor/repair shop (the place where they sent my chair to get fixed) to get the necessary part. The first day their repair person had gone home early. Then once they actually ordered the part, they must have shipped it five-day instead of overnight. They told me it was guaranteed for today but this afternoon they hadn’t yet received it! For something as important as a vital piece of a wheelchair I would think that guaranteed one-day delivery would be a no brainer. Apparently not.

    Second, the difficulty there has been in acquiring a quality, comparable rental chair. Now I admit that I spent a little time trying to find a better rental chair for myself and had trouble finding one on a short timeline. Since Southwest had promised me a better one by Thursday of last week I turned down an offer to put one together from the guys at Mobility and More in Loveland who said on Wednesday they would need a few days to get one together.

    Of course, the chair they sent me on Thursday really wasn’t that much better – I certainly could have had a higher quality chair put together by someone by Friday or Saturday if I hadn’t thought I was already getting one.

    Then on Friday, I was told by a customer service representative (the helpful one) that he was now in contact with a shop in Seattle that would be able to put together a Quickie 2 and send it out over the weekend. That would have been a decent chair for me to use for a few days – the only concern was that they would of course ship it on one of their own planes… and we know now what happens to wheelchairs on Southwest. But that chair never materialized because the shop needed a part, and while the guy in Seattle wanted to ask Quickie to send out a demo chair, no one from Southwest followed up over the weekend to confirm that this was something he should do.

    And that leads to today, where the repair place in Denver still doesn’t have the part they need – and I’m still using a subpar wheelchair that is a pain to get in and out of my car. Especially now that it’s raining and I’m going to have to try to get it into my trunk quickly without getting stormed on.

    Alright readers, sorry for being so negative… maybe I should give you something positive to dwell on. Like the excess quantity of t-shirts I ordered this summer for people at my old workplace, Measured Progress. Measured Progress was where I graded standardized tests and then supervised people grading tests for the previous four summers. We usually referred to it as “scoring” tests, and so for a few summers I had been wanting to make this particular t-shirt. Finally I did, and now I have way too many. If you’re interested in acquiring one, send me an email at darylholmlund [at] gmail [dot] com. I’ll take any offers as long as it covers shipping…

    And yes, I had some long hair and sweet headbands earlier this summer...

    And yes, I had some long hair and sweet headbands earlier this summer...

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.