My Mom is sort of the unofficial mascot of the Consumerist. She’s a spicy dumpling. When not idling away the days puttering about in the garden, she’s spooning Marshmallow Fluff into her mouth with a souffl
spoon and writing indiginant critiques of the cell phone industry. Ben loves her. I tolerate her. My ex-girlfriends meet her at Roger le Grenouille whenever she goes to Paris to spend an evening talking about what an asshole I am.
Yes, my mother is well beloved. Justly so: although a righteous force to be reckoned with when crossed, she’s very kind and loyal. For example, she paid out of her own pocket for a wheelchair ramp for my Great Aunt Mary after the 80 year old woman had a stroke, despite the fact that the woman has three children and a doting, doddering husband.
She wrote us today to tell us about her experience buying an expensive wheelchair ramp for my Aunt from American Ramp. For a change, my mother is pleased. If you’ve got a gimp in the family, you could do worse than get them an incline from American Ramps!
You mentioned wanting to let companies know that good service and products bring their own rewards. So I nominate American Ramp, as being a company that has been wonderful to deal with.
Although I doubt that your reader population is old enough to need them, their parents and grandparents may like being referred to them.
In order for Aunt Mary to come home, after her stroke, she needed a wheelchair ramp installed. We were all at a loss, since these must be built to specification, require (in Massachusetts) building permits, and she was scheduled to come home in about 2 weeks. I found American Ramp on the Internet (www.americanramp.com), called, was called back, and the ramp was up and ready in a week.
First they sent a sales rep/designer from Boston, to meet me at Phil’s (100 miles away). He explained the ramp system, did the measurements, discussed the rental/purchase options available. Since I was unsure that Mary wouldn’t be in a nursing home in a few weeks, we did the rental/purchase option (70% of rental goes to purchase – and they actually gave me more than that). Within 24 hours I had an estimate emailed, and 2 days later they showed up in Northampton and put up the ramp within 5 hours. Since it wasn’t attached to the house, it didn’t require building permits.
Almost 3 years later, it still looks great. The open weave lets the snow fall through, no shoveling. Ice storms aren’t a problem, Phil goes out and stamps and the ice breaks and falls through. A can of black metal paint, and a pad of steel wool, has taken care of the very few microscopic areas of potential rust that your great aunt’s eagle eyes have spotted.
Last year a clumsy ambulance driver knocked a corner support block out of alignment. The stability, functionality, and integrity of the ramp was not effected, I was the only one who had noticed. I called, they asked a bunch of questions, we agreed that there wasn’t any type of emergency and they would come out and take a look when they got a chance. I told them to charge it to me. They were out within 6 weeks, took care of the alignment, moved the support blocks so that it was unlikely to happen again. No charge!
Price – very expensive but I’ve never purchased this type of thing so I don’t know.
The ramp itself, because of the height of the porch, the slope of the land, and the position of the driveway needed 4 turns, and runs close to 45 feet, so maybe $8,000 isn’t that bad. Keep in mind Phil is almost 90 and the rep wanted to be sure that he could push Mary up, and he still can.
American Ramp keeps a list of all the parts used, so when the ramp isn’t needed anymore or you move, it can be reconfigured for donation or adapted to a new layout. I’m satisfied, more than satisfied, and more than more than satisfied.