Identifying and Avoiding Stairlift Scams

Internet-based fraud has invaded almost every sector of the economy, including the accessibility equipment industry. Here are a few tips to help you identify untrustworthy businesses you may find online.

A price that’s just too cheap

As much as we would all like to believe otherwise, a good stairlift generally costs several thousand dollars. So, how are some Internet storefronts managing to offer such a “bargain”?

To start with, the lifts they sell are generally DIY models, which in itself is bad. After decades in the industry we have come to the conclusion that expecting even the most skilled customer to self-install such a complex device is simply irresponsible, and making installation sound “easy” is even more so.

If “professional” installation is offered at all, it usually ends up being done by a local handyman who has never installed a stairlift before, which is as bad as self-installation from a safety point of view. Additionally, a local handyman whose primary business is not accessibility is unlikely to keep spare parts available for your unit.

Fishy-sounding claims

Unethical businesses are generally prepared to say anything in order to close a sale.

One common claim made by many online stairlift resellers is that battery-powered stairlifts are not a good choice. Anyone who has spent any time in the stairlift industry knows that battery units constitute 90% of the stairlifts produced worldwide and are the ideal choice for most people. Non-battery units domake more sense, though, if you’re an Internet dealer who sells nothing else!

If you buy from an unethical stairlift dealer…

Everything may be fine – at first. Sooner or later, however, you’ll need parts or repair for your stairlift. That’s when reality sets in: You find that you can’t reach the person who sold you the lift, your warranty isn’t supported, and the manufacturer won’t even talk to you because you’re a consumer, not a dealer.