Why are aids so expensive?


I can’t understand why things needed to help people with various disabilities seem to be so expensive!

We have just had to finance the construction of wheelchair access to our house, after years of waiting for the local council and OT Bureau, only to be informed by them that our property was ‘unadaptable’, and they would not provide a grant.

I have had MS for 15 years, and as it is progressing we are facing the fact of needing a downstairs bedroom and wetroom facility which, again we will have to finance, by re-mortgaging.

Just to top all this, now we have the access sorted I was looking to buy a ramp to get over the door frame, and I could not believe the price of them, £100-200.

Has anyone else come across similar situations? It almost feels that as well as dealing with your disability, you become an easy target for companies producing aids to charge excessive amounts for these items.

That’s got that out of my system.



When my daughter was getting married I truly believed if you added the word “wedding” to an item the price doubled. It’s exactly the same with disabled stuff- it’s a licence to print money!!!
Shop around for those ramps though - I found huge differences in price when I bought mine a couple of years ago. Got mine on Ebay.


Totally agree - the words wedding or disabled seem to have an almost magical ability to triple the cost of anything they are added to


Because there doesn’t appear to be any cohesive representation for disabled people, companies charge what they want and get away with it .Does the MS Society ever stand up for members over complaints about the price of things? Erm just look at the back one third of the MS Matters magazine,and it is all adverts for the type of company that overcharge.I wonder if other Societies have magazines full of adverts?

The vast majority of disability aids in the shops are made in China,possibly as a copy without patent and with no thought for the person who will try and use it. Some of the stuff is good and because labour costs are so cheap pretty well priced.

I am currently trying to get a re-designed gentlemens’ Piddle Pot introduced,and it looks like it will be getting copied in Taiwan,but at least if ever it gets over here it will be cheap and should be easier to use if it is a good copy.

As for the issue with the ramp, a handy bloke can make something much more cheaply,and if he thinks you might be able to push business his way the deal should get sweeter.


Days Mobility,they sell crutches from £16-00 upwards I seen crutches for sale at Asda for £14-99,

There was a program on a few weeks ago about disability aides had shot up in price as they had become a very high sort after aides to have.Demand normaly brings prices down however aides for the disabled have gone up in price.

I wish I could remember what the program was called…

Ive also noted that wheelchairs both normal and electric the prices vairy so much yet they are exactly the same hardware.

What I have seen so far is to get an electric wheelchair if you cannot afford to buy one outright you have to give up your whole mobility DLA to hire one.That leaves no money for cabs that cater for electric wheelchair users.Am I right in beliving this or not?

Threshold ramps from DaysMobility start from £75-00 upto around £295-00.

I think there are probably two truths to privately sold disability aids.

  1. They are made as a business, which means they have to make money to survive.

  2. They have a captive target audience, which means that if you really need it, you don’t have a lot of choice.

What does make me cross - is all the aids that people are given when they are discharged from hospital after ops on hips/knees/ legs etc. Then they are never returned - Crutches/wheelchairs/rollators and many more. l know for a fact that my neighbour has two rollators-toilet frame and a zimmer in her garage. They were given to her - now late husband - who could never use them as her house is so small [ and full of furniture]. l know the old dear has asked for them to be collected - but nearly a year down the line they are still there.

l did see a rollator - with seat and shopping bag - for sale in Aldi for £39.99 yesterday.

My first stairlift - sadly l got from a friend whose husband [with motor-neurone] had had it installed by social-services - he struggled for years with the stairs [no downstairs loo] then just 6months after it was fitted he died. The social services refused to remove it - saying it was now my friends responsibility. We managed to get a Stannah fitter to move it to my house and fit it. l had been told l was entitled to one but the wait could be 2/3yrs. My friend was so pleased that it was helping me - but l always found myself thinking of her dear husband when l used it.


Totally agree with Frostpaw; disabled is a captured audience we must have it. There excuse is a lot more money is spent on research which is crap!

Anyone who has invented something; patented; Business Plan; Marketing Plan; got the product ready for production and knows his market like wobblyboy and his piddlepot deserves a pat on the back. There seems to be a gremlin about saying “I’m not going to let a disabled person invent and sell a product cheaply; we have got to keep up the price.”

Do I sound bitter; yes as I know what he has gone through? My product was beneficial; saved money for disabled people but the relief at not pushing the product is great.


This really struck a nerve for me. I used a mobility centre i have used several times over the years for a scooter breakdown. I queried the batteries, the charger and the manual/elec brake. I assumed the brake had gone but since I know from what they said to me over the years, if the charger light turns to green too rapidly it’s sign of battery problem.

They repaired the brake and binned the charger but I was told the batteries were fine. They had the scooter for four weeks but I didnt use it regularly because of a trip away and then numerous hospital appointments but I kept it charged because I know the advice about charging. I was charged £185 for the repair and I was rather surprised that the green light came on very quickly after a long trip out, at the end of which the light on the handlebar was flashing alarmingly. But I was too preoccupied with a difficult upcoming procedure and I didnt ring them. The third time of use it failed when I was out again.

I called them out and the engineer tested and said batteries completely gone. I told him I wasnt happy to pay the callout because it had been repaired so recently and no fault found with the batteries.

I came out of hospital to find a bill for £158! £74 was the batteries tho’ I wouldnt have been charged VAT if they had done it the first time as they were also repairing other things - go figure that one’s down to government. I was whacked with £20 labour and £50 callout, even tho the first time it had been £40 and that was for collection and returning.

I am really unhappy about paying more than twice as much as I would have paid if they had found the batteries failing the first time - especially since as the charger was faulty and wouldn’t have been charging properly.

So in total I would have paid them £343 altogether.

What do other people think?


Hello Susi,you do have a tale of woe and if you fervently believe that you’ve been diddled,and it does look that way,you could go back to the mobility shop and whisper the two magic words," Trading Standards".

You appear to know exactly what happened and when so the owners of the shop should realise that one phone call by you and the ‘TS Ball’ would be rolling,

Good luck, Wb

hi - thanks for your reply.

I think you are right about the TS. I have some memory that it had been cut by these fools in government. Is it classed as a quango?

I am seriously impressed with myself that I was able to assemble a semi-coherent post - very, very impressed really as I have just had a spinal cord implant to reduce pain. Maybe I am so furious about this invoice because the implant is there but hasnt worked, so am frustrated, in extreme pain and ready to bite someone’s head off !

I haven’t mastered this site so i hope you see my reply.

Susi x

Thanks Susi,we got your reply.My beloved mentioned TS last year to a firm that had incurred her wrath and it worked a treat.'Praps just the threat might have the same effect as The Bogey man does on me.Is he a QUANGO too ?

I had two of those implant things last year, and as there was “Blood in the wire” with the first attempt it was whizzed out pronto.I’m talking about Spinal Cord Stimulation,are you? The second attempt didn’t do anything for the pain so that was the end of that.If we’re talking about the same thing perhaps the weather is preventing the implant from having a chance to do something for you. Second time around and one of the Pain Team Nurses showed me how to access more buttons on the machine so as to increase some of the things that were going on.

I hope you get some proper help with the pain and that you get some satisfaction over your buggy,

Wb x