So, I’m going to post something that isn’t, directly, photography related…BUT, well, it’s my blog, my rules, right? I’m going to post a complaint about a company…a company that has a history of elderly, disabled, and sick folks, a company that ripped off my dad. (Well…if you look at this in the broad sense, this IS about photography–kinda. I get much of my artistic ability from my dad–he draws though, I photograph. He was always there with a camera for me, at Christmas, when I was little and it was all I wanted and has ALWAYS been supportive of what I do and who I am…with all that being said, this post is now totally relevant as a photography blog 🙂 )
Anyway, last night, I took this story to Facebook and Google+. I have received SO many great suggestions as to what to do next, offerings of assistance, links to follow and words of encouragement–however, I’m that person who doesn’t stop until I get to where I want to be. And, well…these guys are still, comfortably, operating so I’m not there yet. Check out our story:
Customer Complaint :: Discover My Mobility, Planet Mobility, Detroit Michigan
I am beyond frustrated. HOW can people, and a company be so terrible to such vulnerable people?
In April 2014, my dad had a stroke. He lost the ability to move the right side of his body, from the neck down. These past few months have been incredibly difficult, as he works his ass off to regain independence. He lives alone, he can’t drive and he can’t work right now. He’s a Vietnam vet, a Harley driver, an athlete, a dad, a grandpa, a friend, a sibling and an incredibly strong person. He’s had mixed diagnoses regarding his long term prognosis but, as of right now, he’s learning to walk WITHOUT his cane and still working on getting that arm to ‘go’. He’s made AMAZING progress so far; driving is his next step to independence.
Current Day Story:
SO…my dad ordered a foot pedal from the company, Discover My Mobility. The idea behind the foot pedal is to is to make it so his left foot can push the accelerator and he can drive again. First, he was sent a link to install shady software onto his computer, to get the tracking number of his product; he never received any invoice or receipt. After calling them, several days after the order was placed–they confirmed his foot pedal would arrive within two days. It did and his credit card was charged. The foot pedal arrived missing pieces, the instructions, and not as pictured. (They don’t accept returns on products that are missing pieces or instructions. Go figure.) So, I emailed them. They never responded. So, I called. They told me that the foot pedal doesn’t come with the base plate anymore and they weren’t sure why it didn’t contain instructions. The sales rep, Mary, told me she would mail them right out, as well as email them to me. I received a PDF version of the instructions, and a week and a half later–the physical copy showed up in the mail. (The FIRST thing she asked during that conversation is if I wanted to return the product. They mail refund checks monthly, minus a 20 percent restocking fee. She never asked who the client was, or his address–in fact, I had to remind her to ask for my address during the call. It was ODD.)
Now that we have the instructions–they don’t match the equipment, at all. (See photo below. This company believes they are the same though.) At this moment, we are stuck with a 300 dollar piece of metal, and they get all the money. I am working to deal with this but they won’t even respond to me. My dad is out the money and set back in his independence.
I have done some digging into the company and found that this company was spawned from a company called Planet Mobility. Their owner, Michael Woods, was jailed in 2012 for defrauding consumers in this EXACT regard. His primary consumer? The sick, the elderly and the disabled. I am attaching links to articles about him below. I am also attaching links to the Planet Mobility Website AND the new, Discover My Mobility website so you can, clearly, see that they are the same. (I can’t find that Michael is involved in the new ‘business’. You can, definitely, see that the sites are ridiculously similar. There’s, obviously, a connection–even their phone number is the same.)
HERE’S WHY I’M PUTTING THIS OUT THERE…Discover My Mobility is a ‘newer’ company and they don’t have the complaints out there like their parent company, Planet Mobility. They pay a lot for advertising on Google and Amazon, so they come up quickly when folks are looking for equipment like this. Getting this out there, having you share it, me sharing it several times (sorry in advance ), will help pull THIS story, the REAL story of who they are in search results. I can’t even stomach the thought of someone else getting ripped off like this. It’s not fair, or right. I’m tech-savvy–this isn’t difficult for me; most of their victims are NOT and they prey on that fact. Discover My Mobility WILL get busted, again, which will kill their search results–but, until then…there’s this.
If you have ANY thoughts as to what we can do next–please let me know. I’ve got this, emails out to the company and I’ve contacted local reporters who worked on their story last time.
If you feel compelled to share this, even just for a little, please do.
Thanks for listening to this vent and thank you, in advance, for your help.
Links, as promised:
Planet Mobility (The original company with the owner who was jailed for defrauding customers):
Discover My Mobility (The ‘new’ company):
Voice News Article from 2012:
Macomb Daily Article from 2012 (with video):
And, just for fun, and in case you needed more proof of their shadiness…here’s their ‘office’. Don’t ya love the ice cream truck, parking lot, across the street?: