Hands Across the Pond

What happens if your scooter malfunctions whilst out at sea?

There is nothing more important than a happy customer to RentaScoota and sometimes we need to go that extra mile even if it’s a ‘nautical one’ ...... Being stranded at sea is one thing but being stranded in your cabin is quite another.

We appreciate that a mobility scooter has to be reliable, especially for someone who’s mobility is limited. We pride ourselves on achieving a very high level of customer satisfaction, however, we’re not perfect - mechanical units do occasionally have minds of their own – so there are times when the service of RentaScoota is not quite as it should be.

Recently a valued customer of ours hired a Pride Go Go Elite Traveller mobility scooter and was sailing happily on P&O’s Oriana towards The Big Apple. His scooter started to experience problems which could have been either the batteries or the charger (which he wasn’t sure) and regretfully he found himself a prisoner in his own cabin. Getting more frustrated he asked his cabin attendant to contact us to report the problem. As soon as we received the email message from the ship we were determined to help. For obvious reasons, RentaScoota is unable to guarantee the rectification of a fault if the scooter has left the UK but we would always try our very best to find a solution. Once the scooter is overseas we rely on the services of our contacts in other countries – over the years we have been lucky enough to forge some very good associations with foreign mobility agents.

........ and back to our mission : The 5 hour time difference added to the challenge and pressure. The ship was heading for New York but we decided logistically it would be better to organise assistance for when the ship docked in Boston 2 days later. As the Elite Traveller is manufactured by Pride, and Pride is an American company with a UK leg, we contacted Pride UK and asked them to recommend a reputable dealer in Boston. At the same time we started researching ourselves and via the power of the internet found a charming lady called Connie Durfee from Mayflower Mobility. She was really helpful and genuinely sympathetic towards our clients’ plight - she informed us her business was over an hours drive south of the Port at Boston but she would in turn pass on our request for assistance. A short while later Connie emailed us advising of a contact; a great guy called Bob from Belmont Medical Supply situated in Boston. Pride UK contacted Pride Mobility USA who also recommended Bob ... what a network and what a very small world !!

In the meantime emails were flying between our office in Waterlooville, Hampshire and the Oriana. We felt it was important to keep our client fully informed of our progress regarding a possible solution.

The next difficulty we faced was getting permission for Bob to go aboard Oriana as Port security is very stringent. Thankfully the fantastic relationship we have with P&O and Carnival UK enabled us to get the necessary security clearance allowing Bob to board at the earliest opportunity. Our hero and new associate from Belmont Medical fitted new batteries and supplied our client with a new charger. Our customer and the mobility scooter are now enjoying the freedom of the ship and have the chance to go ashore, visiting the ports of call during the remainder of the cruise.

Despite the time differences, the geographical challenges and the fact that a cruise ship (having its own security and communication nightmares) was involved, the co-operation of professional people like Connie, Bob and those within Pride UK and Pride Mobility USA, all combined with the perseverance and determination of the staff at RentaScoota Waterlooville, we together turned a near disaster into a successful conclusion and more importantly – another happy customer.

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