‘It’s too dangerous’: Power chair problem solved for Smithfield woman

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) – Diane Dutch ordered a power chair from National Seating and Mobility in October.

“When it came, I told the gentleman, ‘It’s not the right chair. It’s too high. I can’t sit in it,'” Dutch told Call 12 for Action. “He said, ‘try it.'”

She did. Dutch says she nearly fell out of the chair while trying to navigate a slight incline on a sidewalk.

“The chair was tipping forward,” Dutch recalled.

So she called the company and requested a repair or a replacement.

“I’ve asked to switch my chair out for the one I tried at therapy, and nobody wants to do it,” Dutch said. “If I could do that, there would be no complaints and everybody would be happy.”

“I didn’t get any answers,” she said, noting that she has faced months of calls and canceled repair appointments.

“I’m getting very tired of this story, that story,” Dutch said. “I can’t use the chair. It’s too dangerous.”

Following Call 12 for Action’s inquiry, National Seating and Mobility sent a technician to Dutch’s apartment. During the first appointment Tuesday afternoon, Dutch said the issue was not resolved. The technician returned later in the day and made the necessary repairs to Dutch’s power wheelchair, according to a spokesperson for National Seating and Mobility.

In an emailed statement, Angie VanTassell, director of brand relations said, “While we are unable to share details related to any client because of HIPPA regulations, we can share that we are in communication and working closely with this client to successfully resolve this situation.”

In response to Call 12 for Action’s follow-up questions, VanTassell added, “No one case is like another, but our focus is always to provide the best mobility solution for each client.”

Susan Campbell (scampbell@wpri.com) is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.