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Thread: "Upcharge" vs. Safety?

  1. #1
    Senior Member CurvySAT05's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    "Upcharge" vs. Safety?

    I'm a little peeved right now. I've been communicating with my DME about the replacement frame for a little over a week now and the replacement is well underway. I was expecting him to send me the replacement specs for my final approval, but instead he just sent me the 2 changes that he had put in, so I sent this e-mail back to him detailing what changes to the original specs were supposed to be made:

    "The changes should be as follows:

    1) Front taper needs to be 3.5" or 12" between the f/r tubes (as stated in your e-mail)
    2) Front frame angle needs to be 85 degrees (as stated in your e-mail)
    3) Rear wheel spacing - please order 1" rear wheel spacing and request the no charge additional rear wheel spacers in case the wheels need to be further out in the future. For now I need the 1" spacing to get through doors easier.
    4) Please request/include a calf strap so my feet don't slide off the back of the f/r."

    Side Note (not part of this e-mail) - The calf strap was not ordered with the chair and my feet slide all over the place (even with the footrest adjusted properly). I don't want to accidentally run over my feet b/c they slide off!

    This is his reply:

    "I will request the wheel spacing on the new w/c.
    The ankle strap is normally an upcharge, but I should have one in stock that I will give you.
    Thanks"

    He sounds like he is doing me such a HUGE favor by "giving" me a calf strap for my SAFETY. Um...HELLO...if insurance wouldn't pay for it (which I'm sure medicare would pay for a calf strap if my private insurance didn't) then its not like I wouldn't pay OUT OF POCKET to keep myself safe!! Plus, I'm sure that DME providers get them for like $5 (or some other super cheap price) from the manufacture and sell them for 10 times that price! Ugh...this is frustrating!
    I just can't wait till my replacement frame is here and I can be done with this DME for a while.
    I think the whole process of getting a new wheelchair has been hard for me since I had to fight with insurance (and I do mean FIGHT) for over 7 months before they would even approve the chair! I'm ready to have the finished product and not constantly check in to see what the status of it is.

    Anyone else have "fun" stories about their DME's or insurance company?

    Mandy
    ~Mandy~
    SCI as a result of spinal surgery
    TiLite Aero Z!!!

  2. #2
    Yes, that's why I don't deal with DME's; I'd rather buy a used chair or other piece of mobility hardware and pay out of pocket than go through the pain they put me through.

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