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I have rarely been so utterly and completely fed-up. It’s my lift. Or rather, Kone, my lift maintenance and service providers, for whom ‘maintenance’ seems to read ‘emergency repair’ service which causes me huge problems.

In November last year (2012), I had problems with the automated lift doors opening and closing. Four months it took to agree a price (agreed the week before Xmas), order and fit the necessary parts. Four months, where I was unable to get from floor to floor in my home without help. I had to leave keys in the garden, chuck them out the window, got left on floors with no bathroom or no bed and just had to grit my teeth as Kone ordered the wrong parts, lost the deliveries, sent untrained engineers, all the while promising me that it wouldn’t be a problem, really.

Meantime, the overdue service, part of the contracted services that I pay for along with call-out and maintenance, was postponed until the lift was in ‘full working order’. Hah!

In February, the lift began to shake and tremble while I was in it and there was a horrible screech of grinding metal. After calling a few times to request, urgently, the overdue service and it NOT happening despite promises that it would, I finally put in a call out when the lift came to a halt - fortunately on a usable floor for me!

Oh, meantime, one of my on-functioning automatic doors had been repaired, using a different part from that invoiced to me. That happened at the end of March - four months after it stopped working! And the repairing engineers don’t do servicing as well.

A call out engineer arrived late one afternoon when I was not in my wheelchair and EaZyD was at work. One of my domestic helpers let him in then left. Kone will never give a time for engineer visits because ‘emergencies’ occur regularly and have priority. Yes, I do get that people stuck in a lift get priority but if Kone spent more time on maintenance or got more staff maybe the emergency workload wouldn’t be so dire! However, having an engineer in the house who doesn’t know the lift and no one about to help show him … well, not the most effective way to repair a lift is it?

Anyway, a few hours and a few phone calls later, the engineer had restarted the mother board and concluded the lift was in need of an URGENT lubricating service which should be done annually (and has it? No). That was three weeks ago.

Despite numerous phone calls, one visit from some service engineers who took off for an hour and a half for breakfast before leisurely strolling back to ours, spending a couple of hours here with NO lubricant nor keys to access the control panel and who eventually left WITHOUT doing the service, concluding that they needed, as determined by the previous engineer, said lubricant and keys to do the service … YA THINK! I am still travelling in a lift that is making terrifying noises and juddering all the way down. Apparently, it is OK to use the lift despite its’ problems as it’s ‘just steel grinding on steel’ because there is not enough lubrication. It will, I am lead to understand, take some time before the damage becomes irreparable … causing tens of £’000 to fix.

Well thanks for that, Kone. I am incandescent with rage that the not inexpensive service and maintenance contract that I pay for, to maintain a lift subject to only light domestic use, cosy in its’ well looked after place in my home, is about to be destroyed, possibly with me in it, because you cannot stir yourselves to perform to the not exactly onerous terms of the contract you agreed with me.

Yet again, I am having to curtail my activities to try and maintain essential equipment and sort this mess out. I need this like a hole in the head and pay the money I do to avoid this kind of hassle but Kone have a monopoly on this market. Axess4All, who supplied the lift, refuse to help. So, here I am. Out of options and very unhappy. What now?

And they’ve just invoiced me for this year’s service charge!

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Lifestyle - April 2013
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