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Everyone grouses about the big companies, but when we choose a wheelchair, we go for the big wheelchair manufacurers and wheel chair brands. Then we find that mom-and-pop company and we think, "Small business. I should support them." Even if you're Miss Wheelchair sponsored by the major wheel chair brands.
It's tempting to choose an Invacare wheel chair, Jazzy wheelchair, Sunrise Medical wheel chair, but many people have appreciated personalized service. Still, that doesn't mean the big wheelchair manufacturers are uncaring Big Business behemoths. In fact, there are several advantages to choosing recognized wheel chair brands:
• Parts more readily available away from home
• Multiple lines of products, with more options and accessories than you can think of
• Stable companies with ongoing research and healthy product sales to fund research
• Dealers have more experience repairing them, at home or on the road
• Will often refer customers to competitors if the manufacturer doesn't have the right chair
• Medicare is more likely to recognize them and cover major sellers/manufacturers
Still, small business, too, has that can-do spirit you cherish. Small business can give you a leg up or helping hand with these pluses:
• More time to spend on customer service and on individual needs
• May specialize in, say, scooters or transport chairs, or standing lifts for Parkinson's
• Local manufacturer may be more accessible, plus knows the market and the population
• Great if you want a custom chair
• Less money to spend on research but may be more experimental
• More options and more players mean more competition in the marketplace, which is better for you
Don't think you're contributing to the problem of Big Business (and what's so bad about big business anyway?) if you choose an Invacare wheel chair. After all, big and small companies have one thing in common: They want to help you preserve your independence and freedom of choice.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|