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Why do companies feel the need to overcharge disabled people?

Posted by on in Focus on Disability
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It seems that once you become disabled anything you want to buy, or services you want to pay for suddenly become far more expensive than they need to be. Here's a good example of something that happened to me very recently.

Ever since I moved into my bungalow I've had an automatic door opener on the front door that enables me to open the door by pressing a small button on a fob that hangs around my neck. A few weeks ago the membrane on the button finally disintegrated and it became extremely difficult for me to get the fob to open the door. So I contacted a company called Geze who manufacture the door opener in the hope that they could provide me with a new button. They told me that the only way they could provide me with a new button was to replace the receiver in the door opener itself. Obviously, I was a little dismayed that it wasn't going to be quite as straightforward as I hoped so had to go ahead with them. To be honest, I was quite happy with £279 for the receiver to be supplied and fitted plus a new fob tuned into the frequency.-

The chap who I was dealing with at the company sent me a photograph of the key fob which had a couple of small buttons that you pressed open the front door. I said something like "that looks great" after looking at the photo. However, on the day that the engineer came down to fit the new receiver and tune the new fob I realised just how incredibly small it was. You wouldn't believe how deceiving a photo can be, the fob was absolutely minute. I had a quick mess around with it but couldn't press the button because they were so small. So the engineer said he would finish the job, go away and try and source me a fob which was easier for me to use. After a couple of weeks and a couple of messages asking if they had found something I was sent an email telling me that "yes" they had found a suitable fob that should work for me but also because I had said "that looks great" in previous email when commenting on the fob that they got for area originally, I was now going to be charged a further £235 for the engineer to come down and tune the fob into the receiver. To say I was angry and rather abstract is an understatement. I feel that my comment was used as an excuse to extort what I considered to be a ridiculous amount of money to come back and simply tune this new switch into my receiver. So I told him to forget and I would sort the problem out for myself. It just so happened that I should have tried using the fob for a little bit longer because it actually turns out that it's much better than all the ones I've had before. Even though the button is very very small, I can actually press it with the side of my finger with relative ease.

Obviously, I now know that if the fob gets lost or broken it's going to cost me £235 to have it replaced. £235 to provide a tiny button that probably cost no more than £5, five minutes to tune it into my receiver and the cost of the fuel the drive from Bristol down to Brixham.


I live on the south-west coast of England in a small town called Brixham.  I been confined to a wheelchair 1986 after breaking my neck in a swimming pool accident.  Computers are my saviour and I spend most days doing one thing or another on my PC.  Other interests I have include angling and amateur radio.  I also run a website and forum dedicated to looking after and caring for the Oscar fish cichlid


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Guest Monday, 22 October 2018