Stannah exorbitant charges

  JanetO 09:30 08 Sep 2008

I know it's not pc related but I think it's an important consumer issue.
Mum's stair lift wouldn't work last week. We bought it about 2 years ago. So I phoned Stannah to see if they could come out. The response was quick and efficient but they quoted me a price which made me quite angry.
How much do you reckon?
How much does it cost to call out a plumber in mid-winter with a burst waterpipe?
No, it was more than that.
£172 callout, plus £84 per hour thereafter!
... to fix a pensioners stairlift!
And it's either pensioners or the disabled who are their customers.
I think it's outragious.
Luckily we found out it was only the 9v batteries in the banister controls that needed changing as they send out a signal to the chair. So 2 batteries and no exorbitant charges.

  oresome 09:47 08 Sep 2008

We purchased a stair lift earlier this year for my mun in law. The cost new is around £1800 fitted.

The lift was used for less tham 3 months unfortunately. Companies offer to buy back lifts, so I enquired as to the price offered.

Around £200 seems to be the going rate.

One company did say that if they didn't purchase the lift because it turned out to be over two years old, they would charge £150 for the engineers visit. (No doubt plus vat.)

  spuds 10:15 08 Sep 2008

Its about time a consumer clause was added in the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) regarding fair charges for disability services and devices. I know there are certain medical and essential items which are VAT free for registered users, but seeing how some firms quote so called discounted prices for a sale, then charge very high prices for basic maintenance of the same product requires investigation.

Batteries on mobility scooters seem to come into a category of very high prices.

  jack 10:20 08 Sep 2008

Quite a common practice in all forms of trading.
This should then give some one with an business spirit to get some thing going to do simple supplies and servicing don't you think!

  chub_tor 16:18 08 Sep 2008

Unfortunately you would have found the same kind of "rip off" if you had bought a mobility scooter as well. Their second hand price is also very low compared to new.

But the good news is that there are bargains to be found if you look in the local newspapers, we got a nice second hand stair lift from someone who was only too pleased to sell it at a bit over the price that Stannah were offering, Yellow pages found a stairlift engineer to fit it at a reasonable price and we eventually sold it to him when it was no longer needed.

The solution seems to be not to buy new, let's be honest most of them see very little use as they are purchased as a last resort and very late in life.

  pchelper001 19:12 08 Sep 2008

The government and your local council will hand out Mobility Grants to elderly and disabled people for the introduction for Stairlifts and handrails etc. to the home. We were lucky enough to have the cost of the new stairlift and things payed for, for us. But it may only be for people on Disability Living Allowance etc. But thankfully my Dad's been whizzing up and down in his for the last few months quite happily :)

  darkreign 21:29 08 Sep 2008

We've also received a grant for the stair lift for my father.

But 2 months of use and the lift has started making a noise at the top and bottom of the stairs. I'm afraid it may not be stable and could collapse when in use. I keep telling him to call the council (or whoever oversaw the install) but he's adamant it's fine. So i gritt my teeth everytime he uses it.

Hands up to the inventer of stairlifts, as they make life so much easier for people like me dad.


  wiz-king 21:44 08 Sep 2008

I can understand (just) the second hand value of stairlifts being low as they need major work to fit them to a new house, but the servicing costs do seem rather high. The mother of one of my staff at work was quoted £700 to repair her 3 year old stairlift by the manufacturers, all that was wrong with it was a break in the control cable, a 6 core 12v cable that I could replace with a couple of meters of car/caravan/trailer cable at £1 a meter. Time taken - less than 1 hour.

  pchelper001 22:19 08 Sep 2008

That does sound a bit strange. I would give the council a ring yourself, or maybe ring the contractors who put the stairlift in? For our Stannah one, a company called 'Liftability' came in a did the job for it. They were very good and they fitted it all in about 4 hours.

  laurie53 08:33 09 Sep 2008

No grant available for my wife's stairlift even though she is on the highest rate of DLA. Cost us £3000 five years ago, for an ordinary straight lift in a standard ex-council three bedroom semi.

Maintenance contract is £800 for three years and doesn't include batteries, but cheaper than a call out charge of £264, labour and parts on top.

So far as scooter batteries ago, if it is important to have the correct type with gel electrolyte, then golf cart batteries may be a slightly cheaper alternative.

Standard lead acids, if acceptable, are even cheaper.

  oresome 09:29 09 Sep 2008

"I can understand (just) the second hand value of stairlifts being low as they need major work to fit them to a new house"

The straight stairlift we had fitted was completed in around a hour and half on site. I did the survey measurements and gave them to the supplier over the phone, so only the one visit was required. Asking the same supplier the cost to relocate the lift to another property in the locality, I was advised it would take a day, assuming I'd done the survey and ensured it would fit.

The rail is simply screwed to the stair treads, through the carpet if you have one. I've just removed it in less than two hours, learning as I went along.

Curved stair lifts are a different matter and the rail is custom designed for the location and of no use elsewhere. They are much more expensive as you'd expect.


I'm not advocating that anyone attempts to install one themselves...........just illustrating the time inflation that can be costed into tasks.

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