Forum

Stairlift experiences

ANyone got good or bad experiences of stairlift suppliers they are happy to share?

I have had home visits from two of the big companies this week - undecided on type of lift but am interested in experiences people have had. Have had quite a hard sell from one company that I found a bit of a turn-off but I would like to know if people have had good customer service (or bad) that they would recommend. Thanks

l have had a stairlift for about 25yrs. The first was a secondhand Stannah - fitted by a local company -[ father and son] lt was brilliant - never any trouble - then after we had the house extended l had replaced it with another secondhand - but nearly new one. l live in the S Midlands - and l have nothing but praise for the company that have looked after me. l arranged for my next-door neighbour to have one fitted - then someone across the road - we all use the same firm. My last one - about 5yrs ago - cost £880 - thats on a straight set of stairs. lf it has to turn a corner - it becomes a lot more expensive. The company who did mine are Stannah trained - but do other makes as well. lts never broken down - touch wood.!! There must be other independant stairlift fitters - so don’t be bamboozled by salesmen.

F.

I got one [in my last residence] from Acorn.

The yearly maintenence I thought was very expensive, although the engineer told me that MOST people had their chairs for years before they needed any attention.

The price for an ex-exhibition model & installation was approx £2,800

I told them that all I had was £1,500 and after 6 weeks of them phoning me and me sticking to my guns, I got a new one, installed etc for the £1,500.

So whoever you decide to go with; offer a much lower price than they offer and don’t deviate from your price and they will eventually give in.

It just shows that their profit margin must be huge

Good Luck with what one you chose

The last post just goes to show - use an independant company - keep away from salesmen. They do seem to pick on the disabled/elderly.

They are quite easily fitted - once they have connected to an electricty supply - the rail can be fitted in no time - its very narrow - takes up about 4inches. The seat/arms/footrest all fold up out of the way of other stair users. Mine works on a battery - which is constantly being recharged as l use it. lf there is a power cut it still works - so l do not get stranded. l do not bother with ‘annual maintenence fees.’ l just call them out perhaps every two years to service it. As l said before - it has never let me down. l have used it to take pieces of furniture upstairs - carry the washing - suitcases etc.

F.

I have had Acorn and Stannah round to quote and measure up. I live in an old cottage with narrow stairs and a turn at the top so not cheap! Have to say Acorn have been pushy and really unhelpful - I had the salesman on Monday then three calls from them yesterday wanting to know if I had made a decision, dropping the price for one day only if I book it there and then. I need a stairlift but not like tomorrow so I am not going to cave in to these tactics but this approach really winds me up - I just thought about how a vulnerable old person would have coped with this. Anyway I am trying not to let this influence me and just to focus on which system is best for me. I am going direct to the manufacturers to avoid paying someone else’s cut.

So genuiinely interested in Acorn or Stannah experiences (ie good or bad service response, good reliability or not) - any more views welcome! Thanks to all.

You say your stairs turn at the top - l know from the people who fitted mine - that they can put a ‘platform’ to cover the top stairs where they turn - then you just link straight up to the stairlift. The platform can be lifted for other stair users. Sounds a good idea to me - and would cut the cost of having a ‘curved rail’.

Central Stairlifts - based in Droitwich Worcs. 01905 796949- they might be able to advise you.

I can’t quite imagine how that would work on my stairs as the side of the platform would be exposed and therefore dangerous, however I will ask - thanks for the advice. I am many many miles away from your area but will try someone local. The problem with my stairs is they are steep and straight then fan to the left - not a gentle curve at all. They were quaint when we moved here all those years ago! Thanks for the advice!

Hi,

Got mine from a company called Alfix who are an independant and they were very good. They said that the larger companies sell them cheaper but make up the money by selling you maintenance and insurance policies. Some charge £200 per callout, so beware.

Heather

Hi SGT, the platform for my stairlift folds up to go flush with the wall ( so its not eposed)

I haver to lower the platform before i can use my stairlift,the platform button is on the same

control as the stairlift both downstairs and up stairs

i hope this makes sense to you.

John

l looked at the greenstairlift web site - they look to be very similar to the CentralStairlifts Droitwich - that l have used for over 25yrs. lts good to see independent companies that do not resort to the ‘hard sales’ tecnique - the GOOD GUYS are out there- ln the past disabled folk have had to wait and wait for social services to fit them a stairlift - and often the person does not get a lot of use out of it before becoming to ill to live at home- or sadly departing. Then the stair-lift becomes a nuisance to ever is living at the house - or in the case of the first one l had - the poor chap had died [motor neurone]and his widow could not stand seeing the lift as it keep bringing back sad memories of all the years she had to struggle with him getting up the stairs. He died-sadly- within 6months of having the stairlift. The social services would not take it away - as it automatically became the responsibility of the user. This was the first one l had - Central Stairlifts collected it and refitted it at my house. There must be many cases the same as this.

F.

OK, thanks all for the advice - much appreciated. When I said the platform would be exposed - I meant there would be a steep exposed open drop at one side - though I guess that allowing for the depth of the chair, the platform would in fact be very small. Anyway, I have googled and found a local-ish company who mention platforms on their website - I will ring them tomorrow and get them round. Many thanks to all who took the time to respond - I’ll let you know how I get on!

Followed this thread with interest.
We have reached the point where there are only two options:

  • Move into a bungalow.
  • Get a stairlift and have the path from the front gate ot the front door changed.

Either one could cost a fair bit of cash (well, you can’t take it with you), but the first option would mean leaving some good neighbours and friends.

Decisions, decisions …

Geoff

lt is a big decision Geoff - weighing up the pro’s and con’s. A new or newish bungalow would have easy access - as building regs demand it so. An older bungalow you could be faced with steps at the doors/patio etc. And showers that are not easy access. And older properties have narrow doorways making it not suitable for wheelchairs. We had an extension built across the back of our house about 6yrs ago. lt means we have a large open kitchen-dining-living room with lots of room to manouvre. And a wetroom. Also double doors that open flush straight onto the decking. But we are now left with rooms that we hardly use - as this open plan space is really all we need - especially with the wood-burner at the end. Daughter grown up and in her own house.

l am sure you will make new friends wherever you go - but when you have lived somewhere for a longtime and made lots of friends - you will miss them.

We are finding keeping on top of the garden too much now - especially after all this wet weather making the grass so difficult to cut. Now the ‘ride-on’ mower needs repairing. There is always something! l would be quite happy with just the decking with all my pots and baskets - but the dogs would miss the acre paddock [and the ducks]

l actually have a friend staying at the moment - he was involved in a road accident on holiday - smashed pelvis/hip -his sons can’t manage, so he is here as we are ‘disable-friendly’. So the stair-lift is seeing some action!!

F.

I have recently installed a stairlift. It’s complicated, my stair is curved at both top and bottom.
Contacted Acorn first. Salesman visited and said no problem. Gave me a quote. This was followed up by numerous hard sell calls and offers. Final quote reduced from initial £5700 to £4100. I agreed.
Inataller arrived at 9.00 am. He struggled till 6.000 pm and finally admitted that an Acorn stairlift simply cannot be installed on my staircase. Their system is modular - various stock curved rails are fitted together to follow the stair curves. If the the curves don’t fit, and mine didn’t, the job can’t be done.
I then contacted Stairlifts Scotland in Glasgow. They sell different makes and styles. Their friendly surveyor suggested the Flow Curved Stairlift (Google it!). I agreed. He then organised a detailed scale drawinng of my stair. The rail is made to measure, and by far the neatest installation I’ve seen. The cost was £4700.
Having had a ridiculous experience with Acorn, I am delighted with Stairlifts Scotland and my Flow Curved Stairlift.

Alas I am a long way from Scotland - they sound very good. However I have googled that stairlift and I beleive it is one of the makes offered by the people I have coming round next. Interesting to hear your story of Acorn - I felt their calls were very unprofessional. Also their salesman took no measurements and said they could work it all out from the photos he had taken - I was not happy this would be accurate enough and your story says it all.

My Mum has MS and is requiring a stairlift. We have had Acorn, Handicare and Unicorn Stairlifts out to survey and quote. The quotes from Acorn & Handicare are £4,000 + with Unicorn Stairlifts offering a similar model to the two for around 40% lower. They seem the real deal with good reviews, speedy survey and printed prices in black & white but just before I do confirm the order I was just wondering if any of you had any dealings with them.

There website is: http://www.unicornstairlifts.co.uk/

Following on from my original post, we have has some very postive feedback from a member of this forum who have a stairlift from Unicorn Stairlifts. So on that note we have confirmed our order with them and so far they have been excellent.

Will keep you guys updated - they are installing the curved stairlift in the next couple of day’s

James

Update:

Stairlift has been in for a month or so now and Mum is very happy. The engineers who installed the lift were very professional, polite and understanding of my Mum’s needs. The lift has been working great and we are both surprised how good it looks for a reconditioned model.

Overall she is very impressed with Unicorn Stairlifts service throughout, this together with there cheap price have made my Mum a very happy customer - which is something I can’t say often : )

I came accross a very interesting website with more info on this product: w w w archiexpo.com/architecture-design-manufacturer/stair-lift-2079