Troubleshooter: Wheelchair Confusion

March 26, 2009 7:44:15 AM PDT
Jimmy Vaughn lost his wife last year. After she passed, he didn't have a use for the wheelchair, but said since he thought it belonged to his wife, he wanted to keep it.That was until he got a call from the company he got the wheelchair from, Family Medical Supply. Jimmy says, "They called me and told me they needed to pick up the chair to do maintenance on the chair and I told them they didn't need to do maintenance." But he says they told him they still needed to do the maintenance. Jimmy says they told him, "It's already been paid for and they needed to fulfill their obligation to do that maintenance work."

So a rep from Family Medical Supply in Wilson did come and get the chair. Jimmy says, "He said I have a whole lot of these chairs to do and it will be a few weeks before I return it and I said that would be fine." After a month of not hearing back from them, Jimmy called Family Medical Supply. He said, "They told me the chair was their chair and it would not be returned." Instead Jimmy says a rep told him the chair belonged to them. He adds, "If they would have told me straight out the chair is ours we need to pick it up that would have been different but they told me they were picking up the chair for a maintenance job and the maintenance had already been paid for and they needed to fulfill their obligation on that, so that made me angry."

Jimmy's friend got me involved. A rep with Family Medical Supply says the wheelchair does belong to them as Medicare paid on it as a rental. Once Jimmy's wife passed, Medicare stopped paying on it. He also added that nothing on any paperwork shows that the ownership transferred to the Vaughan's but because the way this was handled Family Medical Supply was going to return the chair to Jimmy to make things right. Jimmy now has his late wife's chair back and is happy with the outcome. Jimmy also adds it's good to know companies are still willing to make things right.


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