Product Reviews

6-in-1 kitchen tool open sesame for opening jars, bottles etc

How Easy Is The Open Sesame 6-in-1 Tool To Use – My Review

How Easy Is The Open Sesame 6-in-1 Tool To Use – My Review – I bought this tool to help me be more independent around the kitchen. You’re told in the opening image of this product: 6-in-1 tool, Opens almost anything, No effort required and guaranteed to work every time!

It goes on to say: This all-in-one quality tool makes opening jars, bottles, lids, packets, bags, seals and tops practically effortless! These are massive claims for such a small product. But……Can it do what Must Have Ideas say it can?

The Sales Pitch

The Open Sesame 6-in-1 Tool is a multipurpose tool advertised to make everyday tasks easier for people with disabilities, especially those with limited hand dexterity. It is designed to help open bottles, jars, cans, and doors, as well as pulling tabs open. The tool is compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry around and use.

How Easy Is The Open Sesame 6-in-1 Tool To Use - My Review - 5 images in one showing the tasks this tool can achieve

Source: Must Have Ideas

My Experience

When I opened up the package, it looked a good size and it came with instructions. I chose the blue colour and it cost me £9.99 (This included their 40% off offer) although I’ve never seen this product at full price (as I had my eye on this for a while) plus P&P.

I have tried opening all of the things MHI have claimed this tool can open:

  • Tin cans (ring pull) – Opened these with ease, as long as the tin is sat on a firm surface
  • Bags (like frozen chips) – Unable to do this due to my dexterity and grip
  • Milk cartons (2-pint carton) – Unable to do this due to my dexterity and grip (couldn’t open the plastic screw lid to get to the tab)
  • Jars – Impossible due to my dexterity and grip – The tool was also too big for me to be able to try and get a better grip
  • Bottles – Again impossible due to my dexterity and grip – The tool is too big for me to be able to get a good grip
  • Bottle tops – Able to do this

What I can’t understand is the fact that Must Have Ideas claim:

Open Sesame makes a really thoughtful gift for anyone with dexterity issues.

I have dexterity issues and I couldn’t use this tool to its full extent, making their “Guaranteed to work every time” claim to be false. Maybe even verging on a complete lie to make sales! Needless to say, I felt really let down and disappointed. So I contacted their customer service team (CS).

Customer Service

I emailed them with my concerns over their wording and how I felt it was very misleading and maybe at worst, false advertising.

The following day, I received an auto email informing me I have received a refund. No further contact from MHI at this point. Then this:

Here’s hoping their marketing team do the right thing and makes the wording for this product more realistic and true. I bought this product based on their advert, I feel let down and misled! It’s NOT guaranteed to work every time, as advertised!

If you wish to work with me don’t hesitate to Contact Me.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Links

Must Have Ideas
Open Sesame

Side view of mid wheel on Q300 electric wheelchair

Quickie Q300 M Mini: An In-Depth Review for Improved Accessibility

Quickie Q300 M Mini: An In-Depth Review for Improved Accessibility – My previous EW (electric wheelchair) Spectra XTR2 was hitting 5 years old (average lifespan of a wheelchair). I wanted to know what was available on the market, so I went to a showroom to take a look. I thought if the price was right, I might buy my own chair. This way, I could have a chair that met my needs better and not have to use the NHS wheelchair service.

I fell in love with the Quickie Q600 but at the cost of over £9,000 inc the adaptions I needed. It was completely out of my price range. I came home very disappointed.

A few weeks later, I received a letter from my NHS wheelchair service. I was due for a wheelchair review. I know how strapped the NHS is, so didn’t dare to think I would ever be offered anything as grand as the Q600. I’m grateful for any chair provided to me as my independence depends on it.

My appointment arrived and I was shocked as I was actually offered the Sunrise Quickie Q300 M Mini. This is in the same range as the one I tried in the showroom (Q600), making these chairs identical. The only difference is the max speed. The NHS is only allowed to provide electric wheelchairs with a maximum speed of 4mph, the chair at the showroom had a max speed of 8mph (also available at 6mph).

Sunrise Quickie Q300 M Mini

The wheelchair’s width is smaller than my previous chair. It feels very compact. You can customise the chair with coloured facias that cover the batteries, rims that sit on the mid wheels and covers for the arms that hold the castor wheels. There are many colours and designs to choose from.

There is a mountain of options available for this chair. From:

  • Backrest
  • Footplates
  • Armrests
  • Cushions
  • Tilt
  • Recline
  • Swing Away Joysticks
  • Colours
  • Elevated footplates
  • Speed
  • Headrests
  • Seat Riser
  • Controllers
  • Seating Options

The list is rather impressive don’t you think? If purchasing one of these privately, please visit an authorised dealer to ensure you are fitted and kitted out with the proper adjustments and adaptions. Also, make sure you have a home demonstration. Some dealers charge quite a lot for this so do your research. The showroom I visited wanted £250 for a home demonstration. At the end of the day though, you don’t want to spend thousands of pounds on a wheelchair you can’t manoeuvre around your home.

How Functional Is The Sunrise Quickie Q300 M Mini Electric Wheelchair? - Side view of the Q300 M Mini electric wheelchair

The size of this chair is amazing, except for one thing. Because this can literally turn on the spot & the back is shaped differently from my previous chair, (I’m assuming because I have the Sedeo backrest), I keep hitting things behind me.

As the backrest is capable of adjusting along the seat frame. I found mine was set far too forward, making me like it was pushing me off my seat. I got hubby to reposition it for me and he moved it back about an inch which has made a huge difference for me but of course, this now means I have more behind me to be more aware of.

Specifications

Specifications for the Quickie Q300 M Mini
Source: Sunrise Medical – Bottom of the page.

Seating

Sunrise say:

Instead of a solid base, the Flexi-Back wraps around and contours to the shape of your spine, providing complete contact, comfort and stability. Similarly, the integrated laterals ‘hug’ your sides, forcing the foam to mould to your anotomical curves. The laterals are independently adjustable to help atabilise and align your trunk too. It’s such an adjustable, supportive and immersive back that even those with moderate-to-severe kyphotic postures or spinal scoliosis can sit much more upright without any sacrifice to comfort!

I’m afraid I have to disagree with this statement. I feel I have got my seating position the best I’m going to get it. (Unless I’m missing something). I still can’t get complete contact, comfort and stability. Believe me, when I say, I have had my backrest up/down, forward/back, tension straps loosened and tightened, wings pushed in/out and nothing is coming close to comfort. I’ve even changed my seat cushion to no avail.

I sit with my seat tilted backwards to keep me in my seat and push me back against my backrest. If I’m sitting watching the TV, yes, I can get good contact with my backrest. When sitting anywhere else, I don’t have this comfort. I still feel my limber area is not getting the support needed.

The video on Sunrise’s website regarding the backrest shows that the side wings can be moved up and down along each side. I am yet to work out how this is done. I can’t comment on seating cushions as my chair wasn’t ordered with a seat cushion as I have two of my own seat cushions.

I’ve got elevated footplates. I was quite taken aback by how bulky and heavy they are. They seem to stick up to a point higher than my knees. (Seen in the drop kerb video below). They have padding on the inside by my knees but the padding is hard so they cause more problems than solve!

Adjustments

At the time of writing this, I have moved my armrest up/down, I’ve tried two different cushions, reclined my backrest into many different positions, tightened/loosened the tension straps inside my backrest and even moved the backrest frame out further to stop me from feeling like I’m being pushed out of my seat. I still feel I’m not as comfortable as I should/could be!

I like to have my backrest in a very upright position. My back hurts if I don’t. Unsure if it’s the type of backrest I have (my previous one had no wings, just straight with some tension straps) but I just can’t seem to feel comfortable.

Smooth Ride

The most significant difference for me is that this is a mid-wheel drive chair, whereas my last chair was a rear-wheel drive. Controlling this chair is very different from my previous one. There are 3 type of wheel drives:

How Functional Is The Sunrise Quickie Q300 M Mini Electric Wheelchair? - What's the difference between different wheel drives.
For a full description, visit: Permobil

This is probably the smoothest ride I’ve ever had in any of my electric wheelchairs and this includes the Storm 3 I had many years ago. Navigating small kerbs is surprisingly smooth and I stress small kerbs. (It’s always sensible to mount any kerb face-on, not at a sidewards position).

Sunrise says:

Our PATENTED all-wheel independent suspension ensures all six wheels remain on the ground whilst climbing and transitioning obstacles. Any shocks or bumps are absorbed by the wheel‘s suspension, providing a soft and smooth ride.

Source: Sunrise Medical

This time, I agree. The suspension is very good. I have, however, found one obstacle that took me by surprise. My parent’s house has a ramp up to their front door (the image right is an example of their front door). The ramp sits under the white step meaning you have a very small step over the threshold, then you step down into their hallway.

When I popped around there to show off my new chair, my chair bounced around unevenly going over this threshold and I nearly cracked the PVC door frame, even though I was driving straight. Yes, I was going very slow too. It is extremely difficult to remember that the main drive wheel is directly under me and not behind me.

Pulling away has what I describe as a slight delay. You push the control knob and it takes (what feels like ages) for the chair to start moving. I notice this most when waiting to cross the road. I assume this is to prevent the chair from jerking when moving off.

To The Test

I have taken a full 4.5-mile round trip to put my chair to the test and learn its & my capabilities. It coped much better than I expected. Although I think I was who failed the test. I was very nervous going up and down hills and some kerbs, especially when at an awkward slant. When I arrived home, I had not lost one light on my battery indicator, which did surprise me.

I took some video footage (below) to show how the chair’s suspension is very good. You see me going over cobbles and believe me, it looks bumpier than it feels. It makes for a very smooth ride. Another note to mention is when you’re riding along the pavement over dropped kerbs, the chair keeps you in a straight line. It doesn’t pull you to the side as other chairs can.

Another video shows how manoeuvrable and compact this chair is as I used a shop’s wheelchair lift to go upstairs. You can see that the turning circle capabilities on this chair were a major factor in being able to use this lift, especially when I got to the top as the door was now to the side of me.

The first cobble test, found this to be very smooth indeed.
The second cobble test was a rougher set of cobbles. A little more bumpy but still a lot smoother than some other chairs.
I was amazed at how I kept in a straight line going over the drop kerbs. My other chair would almost have me in the road.
Again, the tight space wasn’t an issue for the Q300.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to purchase this chair privately, do visit a professional supplier that will take your measurements and give you honest advice as to what you may need. There is so much that can be altered/changed on this chair it is a bit of a minefield. Don’t forget that home demonstration, especially if you have adaptions in your home for your chair like a through-floor lift.

I’ve given this chair a 3/5 for a couple of reasons (I so wanted to give this 5/5):

  • Footplates are so bulky and heavy. I can’t actually take them on/off by myself (I have actually seen smaller less bulky elevated footplates on other chairs)
  • I still can’t get myself into a comfortable position even though Sunrise claim this is almost impossible
  • The armrests can not go any higher than I’ve got them already. This is important to me to keep me in an upright position. This also causes me back pain. – I’m looking into if I can modify my right one to make it higher.

Outside of the above, this is a very neat chair.

  • Its suspension is extremely good
  • Turning circle absolutely amazing
  • Style is great as you have different coloured shrouds and wheel inserts
  • The controller (NHS version) is your basic controller
  • Many ways in which you can modify this chair to meet your needs

Am I happy with this chair? You bet I am, fingers crossed it lasts me and that I don’t have any issues in the future.

If you would like to work with me don’t hesitate to Contact Me.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Links

Sunrise Medical
Mobility For You

Sistaco mineral bond nail set

Is Sistaco Nail Set The Solution For People With Dexterity Issues?

Is Sistaco Nail Set The Solution For People With Dexterity Issues?I ordered my Sistaco Mineral Bond Nail Set so I can test it out to see if it can help people like me (who suffers from dexterity issues) to apply colour to my nails. – I am in no way affiliated with this company but they knew I wished to purchase one of their nail sets so I could review it, they offered me a discount. Thank you Sistaco for your generosity.

Due to my disability, my hands don’t work very well. My arms and grip are very weak, my dexterity is awful meaning painting my own nails is almost an impossibility. So to make life much easier, quicker and cleaner, I end up going to nail bars to have my nails done. Which obviously can be very expensive if done regularly!

What Is A Sistaco Nail Set?

Sistaco nail set powder on nails in a holographic lilac colour.
Flamingo-Holographic Nail Powder

Sistaco Mineral Bond Nail Set is an alternative to nail varnish. Sistaco nails offer nail powders that come in either Classic, Holographic or Metallic finish that you simply rub onto your nails. There are many colours available and three nail kits to choose from:

  1. The Foundation Set (Choose 1 Colour from their range)
    Priced at £45*
  2. The Deluxe Set (Choose 3 Colours from their range) + FREE REMOVER
    Priced at £75*
  3. The Ultimate Set (Choose 6 Colours from their range) + FREE REMOVER
    Priced at £99*

*Prices correct at time of this review.

My Nail Kit Has Arrived

Packaging
Sistaco Nail Set - The Solution For People With Dexterity Issues?  I Put It To The Test! - Nail package box including the set

Sistaco Nail Set – I purchased the £99 nail kit as I was given a discount. On their website, all prices are in GPB and contact numbers seem to be in the UK, so you are lead to believe they are based in the UK. Not the case, the products actually come from Australia! This is not something that is made clear on their website, I’m unsure as to why but something to be aware of when placing an order.

The packaging is ok, nice, but not as luxurious as I would expect when paying £99 for a nail kit. The packaging consists of one cardboard box with magnetic flap closure. It has a foam filling with cutouts for the different items. (image left). With the £99 kit (as you get 6 colours) you get a separate plastic see-through box with the remaining 3 nail colours.

All of this was despatched to me in a grey plastic postal bag. This shocked me as your products can be easily damaged while in transit! This is especially worrying as the LED light does not sit flush into the cutout at the bottom of the box, meaning the box doesn’t close flush and the magnetic closure could come open easily.

The USB lead for the LED light and a bottle of express remover varnish both sit underneath the LED lamp. This suggests the cutout is being used for more than was originally planned. Not a major issue but I just expected more for the price. (Bubble wrap or other protection would help inside the postal bag).

Quality
Mulberry coloured nail powder from Sistaco nail kit

Feeling the bottles and lids, they have a cheap plastic feel to them, again not what you would expect for your 100 bucks! They do look nice but feel cheap. I can’t help but feel there should have been a little more considering the price. Personally, I would have liked to have seen maybe a ribbon around the box, a little thank you note/card for your purchase or even a discount on my next order (especially in the top-of-the-range kit).

I believe, if you pay a lot of money for something, you expect that something to reflect that. If you’re asked to pay boutique prices, you expect boutique-style products & packaging. The packaging for this product does not meet those expectations!

When you open the bottle, the powders look very lush indeed. Rich colours, a full bottle of powder. (Although on a future purchase, one bottle was only half full?).

How To Apply

Before attempting to use my kit, I looked on their website and viewed a few YouTube videos to find out just how easy these are to apply. From what I have seen It seems relatively easy. There are different methods of applying the powders depending on which finish you are using. Full Instructions: https://sistaco.co.uk/pages/how-to-apply

How To Remove

  1. Lightly buff the surface of your colour.
  2. Apply the Express Remover to your nail (make sure not to get any on your skin).
  3. Wait 2-3 minutes and begin gently pushing away your colour with a remover tool. 
  4. Wipe away any residue, and your nails will be fresh and clean, ready for your next colour!

Source: Sistaco website

I have read some reviews that claim the remover doesn’t do a good job. I will be putting that to the test also.

The video below is the one used on Sistaco’s website. It does seem a little too good to be true. I do hope to be proven wrong on this!

My First Use

Setting Up
Sistaco Nail Set - The Solution For People With Dexterity Issues?  I Put It To The Test! - My setup equipment

My “setup” consists of:
Two sheets of kitchen roll (folded) to catch any fall-out
Basecoat nail varnish
Topcoat nail varnish, (both topcoat/base coat sitting in a tub of hot water)
Plastic tub for sitting my varnishes in hot water
Nail Powder of choice
Nail powder applicator
LED lamp (USB operated)
Orange sticks to clean excess base coat/top coat from around my nails
Small headed make-up brush to brush away excess powder from around my nails
Wooden block so I can rest each finger on at a higher height while applying varnish/powders

The fact the LED lamp is USB operated is a drawback as you then need to be close to a USB socket while doing your nails. I have not seen an AC/DC power lead advertised on their website, so I would assume USB is the only way to connect the lamp.

Hot water for varnishes? Yes, I’ve read from other users that putting your base coat and topcoat varnish in hot water makes them less glupey and much easier to apply.

Preparation
Fingernail with metallic nail powder collected at the cuticle. Sistaco Nail Set - The Solution For People With Dexterity Issues?  I Put It To The Test!

Preparing your nails is probably the most important part of the process as I found out the hard way. I dived straight in and found the powders are attracted to any kind of lump, bump or blemishes on your nails.  I would recommend buffing/smoothing your nails and more importantly making sure your cuticles are clean & smooth around your nails as this will cause the powder to collect in this area making for a rough & unfinished look. (Image right).

I visited the Sistaco Facebook page looking for tips as I found the base coat and topcoat to be very thick & glupey. This makes it difficult to keep the sides of your fingers clean. So once cured under the lamp, you can have excess hardened powder coming off the sides of your nails. Again, making for an unfinished look.

Sistaco users suggest warming up the base coat and topcoat before using. I read this helps thin the liquid so it is easier to apply a thinner coat onto your nails. Something I have to agree with 100%, this does in fact make applying much easier indeed.

Powders/Applicator

When you open the jars, the powders look very lush indeed. Rich colours, a full bottle of powder. (Although on a future purchase, one bottle was only half full?). Applying the powder to your nail is easy but be careful not to rub or press too hard as this can then make the powder ball up and create blemishes.

I haven’t yet found how to clean my applicators, I’m in the process of researching this.

Application

As I said previously I didn’t really prepare my nails before applying, so I went ahead and immediately put on the base coat nail varnish, followed immediately by the topcoat (as you’re told to do this for longer wear). I then cured my nails under the LED lamp for 60 seconds. Once I had done this I took my applicator with the sponge tip, dipped it into the powder of my choice and put on a minimal amount of powder on the applicator and proceeded to rub it onto my nail.

The powder went on smoothly, although at this point I wasn’t expecting much to happen but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Next was a coat of topcoat, then cured under the lamp. I applied a second coat of nail powder and this time I did 2 coats of topcoat nail varnish, curing my nails between both coats.

My Process

  1.  Base coat
  2. Top coat
  3. Cure nails under lamp
  4. Nail powder
  5. Top coat
  6. Cure nails
  7. Coat of nail powder
  8. Top coat
  9. Cure nails
  10. Top coat
  11. Cure nails twice under the lamp
Result
My 1st attempt at applying Sistaco nail powders.  Sistaco Nail Set - The Solution For People With Dexterity Issues?  I Put It To The Test!

I was not initially over-impressed with the results (yes, I know I keep banging on about it) but because I didn’t prepare my nails the powder is quite unforgiving where any sort of blemishes might be on your nail. Therefore, the cleanup process around my nails took some time using a wooden cuticle (orange stick) to try and scrape away the excess powder/varnish.

I’m still in the very early stages of using this kit and I have read that a lot of people initially, find it is a bit of a trial and error method in finding what works best for you. There are a couple of different ways to clean the edges so really it’s a personal choice and finding what works best for you you.

I’m hoping my 2nd attempt will be much better!

Due to not preparing my nails, I ended up with the only way I can describe it is an overhang on my nail. (Excess undercoat and powder that had hardened past the point of the edge of my nail). I happen to catch this and it peeled off my nail. In one respect I was pleased because it gave me the perfect excuse to take everything off and try again but on the same token, I was disappointed as I had made such a hash of my first attempt.

Second Attempt

So, the first thing I had to do was use the express remover to take off the existing nail powder already on my nails. As I mentioned before a lot of people said this didn’t seem to work very well. I can understand what they mean, especially if you’re an impatient person like me. The word here would be patience, patience, patience! OK, that was 3 words!

The express remover does work, it just takes time. You do have to put a coat on, leave your nails for approximately 3 to 5 minutes and then start to gently scrape off the varnish/powder from your nail.

Depending on how many coats of varnish/powder you have put on your nails, this will obviously determine how easy or long it will take to remove! I noticed some of my nails were much easier and quicker to remove compared to other nails that took more work.

Preparation For 2nd Attempt
Buffer block for nails

At this point, I had both the base coat and topcoat sitting in a tub of hot water as I was now testing the thinning theory to see if it did actually make the varnish easier to apply. Yes, it worked a treat and it most certainly helped the varnish go on much more thinly and smoothly.

I cleaned my nails with a normal wet wipe,  I then used a nail buffer block to file, shape, smooth, and buff my nails. Again I cleaned my nails to remove any excess nail shavings from buffing and then put on my first coat of base coat.

2nd Application

My setup was pretty much the same as my first attempt but the only difference was a tub of hot water for my base & topcoat to sit in. I applied the base coat, no topcoat, as per the instructions for classic powder finish you just put on a base coat followed by the powder. Curing your nail/s before applying the powder.

I took my time this time, (holding my excitement back) and did each nail individually, purely due to my dexterity and the way my hands are shaped. I can’t keep my fingers separated enough to prevent one finger from hitting another fingernail and causing smudges in the varnish/powder.

Not only that I wanted to spend more time cleaning around my fingernails preferably without having to use vaseline around the edges as suggested by other users or messing around with liquid latex. I simply resorted back to my wooden cuticle stick and every time I put a coat of base coat or topcoat on my nail, before curing I would take the cuticle stick, use the flat-ended side to gently remove excess varnish down each side of my finger. As the varnish was still wet, this worked beautifully!!

When applying the powder, very little pressure is needed to make the powder stick to your nail. This is great for people like myself who don’t have a good grip. Also, there really is minimal fallout, just make sure to tap excess powder off the applicator over the powder bottle.

Again, due to my dexterity, I am unable to lay my hands/fingers flat under the lamp. The fact it is small enough to hold over my nails, I can cure my nails without having to lay them flat on the table. (Something I struggle with at nail bars).

My Process This Time:
My second attempt at applying Sistaco nail powder in Aqua.
  1. Base coat
  2. Use a cuticle stick to remove excess varnish
  3. Cure nail
  4. Powder
  5. Use a cuticle stick/make-up brush to remove excess powder away from my nail
  6. Top coat
  7. Use a cuticle stick to remove excess varnish
  8. Cure nail
  9. The second coat of powder
  10. Use a cuticle stick to remove excess powder away from my nail
  11. Top coat
  12. Use the cuticle stick to remove excess varnish
  13. Cure nail twice
  14. Wiped nails/fingers clean of any excess with a wet wipe

Warning – When using the topcoat remember to clean the brush BEFORE putting it back into the bottle. The powder can/will transfer onto the brush, so when you put the brush back into the bottle the colour transfers into the remaining liquid in the bottle. I found this out the hard way. (Sometimes you can get away with it on the lighter colours).

Application Instructions

According to Sistaco, here are the instructions for application according to powder finish:

For Classic colours, you’ll have to do, Base coat > set > Colour Powder > Base coat > set > Colour powder > Top coat > set.

For Holo/Metallic, it is Base coat > Top Coat > set > colour powder > Base coat > Top Coat > set colour powder > Top Coat > set.

Result

I’m extremely impressed with the result I got this time and can’t believe how easy it is to apply. I don’t know if it made a difference but once I had completed doing each nail, I put on an extra coat of topcoat varnish. I hoped this would give a little extra shine and I cured them all twice.

One thing I will say (at this point not 100% sure). I think the sponge applicator can cause little blemishes (almost like specks of sponge) over the nail when applying/rubbing on the powder. This then becomes quite obvious if missed and the topcoat has been applied and cured. Either that or the powder is balling up while rubbing the powder on. Something I can not test immediately and will only tell after a few applications. I intend to purchase some eyeshadow brushes (the sponge type) to test out. (So I have applied the powders a couple of times now and found I was rubbing the powder too hard and too long).

Due to my disability/dexterity, I have to do one nail at a time. The powder is so easy to do, you don’t mind. I did one nail at a time so I can spend time making sure each nail/finger is cleaned properly so no extra powder is around my nail.

Conclusion

I have used this nail system several times now. I love how easy it is to use and with over 100 colours to choose from, you really are spoilt for choice. Be careful though, it does become addictive. After putting on my first colour, I couldn’t wait to try the other colours lol. I now have over 20 colours.

As for using this system with my disability, this is extremely easy for me to use. One of the first companies to make doing my own nails work for me. The only issue I have is trying to remove the powder/varnish from my right hand. My grip is so weak on my left, that I can not use a tool of any kind to help scrape off the powder after applying the express remover.

On my last few fingers, hubby does it for me. I have tried putting on a small amount, large amounts of the remover, tried removing it after a minute, 5 minutes but it just won’t budge as easily as I had hoped for.

Unfortunately, (for us customers) I do believe the majority of their products/powders etc. are very overpriced, outside of their powders & varnish, very good alternatives that are identical can be found elsewhere online for far cheaper and I don’t have to wait over 2 weeks for them to arrive. Worth bearing this in mind when choosing what to purchase.

I now have over 20 colours and I’ve just ordered more topcoat, basecoat, remover and applicators. So, that means I have spent well over £400 already. (This does not include the money spent on powders for my Christmas pressie or all the varnishes & applicators bought since starting this review).

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Many colour choices – Over 100 available
  • Colours look better in real life
  • Last longer than traditional nail varnish – Varnish easy to chip
  • Looks just as good as a salon finish – A high-gloss finish
  • 3D embellishments now available – Not available when I started this review
  • 5 /10 pack applicators now available – Not available when I started this review
  • Precision Edge is now available – Not available when I started this review

Cons

  • Products come from Australia – Delivery is normally 2 weeks +
  • Overpriced – Their showcase stand for one, is overpriced for home use
  • Addictive – Can become very expensive
  • One applicator with £99 kit – At least three should be supplied
  • 3 -in -1 applicator for removing powder must be bought separately – You are not getting a FULL kit, even the top of the range kit at £99 doesn’t include one
  • Express Remover does not work as well as advertised on their website

TIPS:

  • Check online for equivalent items before committing to Sistaco as cheaper and similar products can be found
  • One coat of powder may not be enough – Mulberry – classic finish came up a little pale. It didn’t give much coverage at the tips of my nails, making them almost see-through
  • When applying the base coat and topcoat, keep them in a pot of hot water – This makes them go on easier and smoother
  • Keep your top coat varnish brush clean – Colour can remain on the brush and transfer into the remaining varnish
  • Wooden cuticle (orange) sticks are great for removing excess varnish around nails
  • A small-headed make-up brush (not too fluffy) is good at removing excess powder from around your nails before applying topcoat
  • If you purchase “Raven” powder, a black colour, be very careful as I have found this to be the messiest of powders so far when applying and it is a bugger to get off

Will I Continue To Use Sistaco

Try and stop me ha ha ha Yes, I will need to spend money on their powders and Varnishes but for everything else, I will look for a happy alternative before purchasing on Sistaco’s website.

Links

Sistaco Main Site – https://sistaco.co.uk/

Sistaco Nail Powders – https://sistaco.co.uk/collections/nail-powders

Essentials/Refills – https://sistaco.co.uk/collections/refills

How To Apply – https://sistaco.co.uk/pages/how-to-apply

Classic Nail Tutorial – https://sistaco.co.uk/blogs/nail-art-designs-with-sistaco/classic-nails

Ombre Tutorial – https://sistaco.co.uk/blogs/nail-art-designs-with-sistaco/ombre-nails

French Tip Tutorial – https://sistaco.co.uk/blogs/nail-art-designs-with-sistaco/french-tips

3D Embellishments – https://sistaco.co.uk/collections/sistaco-embellishments

***UPDATE 23/8/22***

I’m saddened to say that I am having issues with Sistaco as a company. This is a real shame as this has let the company down.

My husband bought me two colours for my birthday (Emerald City & Satin). Satin is advertised on Sistaco’s website as white colour. Unfortunately, mine comes out silver!

Facebook Messenger Conversation

I wanted to post on their Facebook group to ask other users if they had the same problem. My post was not published and Sistaco contacted me privately:

Sistaco (blue text): Hi Carrie, hope you are well. We got your enquiry on Sistaco Collective and we would love to assist. Do you have a photo of your nail application using Satin? and can you tell us the steps you’ve followed? ?

Me (pink text): Hi, I’ve taken 2 pictures. (I sent them the one shown on the right) You can see it doesn’t look the lovely white colour shown on your website.

My procedure was: I put the satin on first on clean dry nails. I then put on the base coat, cured, then powder, then top coat, then cured again.

I found the colour to get very dull once I put the top coat on though.

Thank you

Two days passed and no response.

Hi, Any reason my post has not been approved regarding my satin powder? No one has responded either to the above???? Really would like to know why my satin is coming out silver.

Three days later:

Hi Carrie, thanks for your message. We are happy to forward this enquiry to our team so we can properly asssess. ❤️

(Notice no comment on why my post was rejected!)

If you wouldn’t mind please as I have a colour not as you advertised. Thank you.

Satin is our classic white colour and it doesn’t have shimmer to it. What you can do is to ensure to only apply thin coats for each application. Hope it helps. ?

Hi, thanks for your reply. I do this already, so can’t be the issue. (Would a thin or thick layer really change the colour of your powders?) I’ve not noticed this with my many other colours. I do find the colour deepens if a 2nd coat of powder I put on but that is all. I’ve looked at your group and seen many others who have used Satin and they all look lovely and white.

Could it not be a simple case that my one is faulty in some way?

A further 10 days with no response, so today, I wrote again:

Hi, Is there a reason no one wants to rectify my issue/complaint? I’m still stuck with a powder that is not the colour advertised. Any solutions? Like maybe a replacement? Thanks.

Hi Carrie, thank you for your message. Can you kindly send us video applying Satin on one nail? ?

I’ve already sent an image of the satin that I applied and a description of how I applied the Satin, why now a video?

I’e been using your powders for almost a year without any issues. I feel like this is a delay tactic now.

I just want this resolved!

They WANT ME TO WHAT!!! So basically, they don’t believe the image I already sent them, nor the description of how I applied the powder? Disgusting behaviour! I’ve been using their product for almost a year, I think I know what I’m doing. I’ve had no issues up to this point.

What Sistaco DON’T Want You To Know

In the 10 months since posting this review, I’ve come across a couple of flaws with the company:

  1. Sisto will NEVER allow any posts on their FB group if it contains any sort of negative comment. Whether that be someone having a problem with the product or if I wanted to post about the express remover (below). Your post WILL be rejected! Their group is nothing but positivity and glowing comments about Sistaco. This gives a false impression to customers, leading them to believe this product is almost a miracle powder. Don’t get me wrong, their product is almost amazing, they don’t NEED to manipulate the comments on their FB group. (Unless of course many are complaining and finding faults).
  2. Their co.uk website says nothing about their products having to come from Australia, you are led to believe they have a UK distributor (which clearly they don’t).
  3. I’ve just received some bottles of their express remover……..I will let the picture speak on this occasion:

Half-filled bottles???? No wonder you go through them quickly. Oh and the other thing, once the bottle is open, the brush doesn’t/can’t reach the bottom so you are wasting so much product!! You receive this large heavy square bottle believing it is a decent amount of remover.

You can see there is a bottle inside a bottle and the inside bottle is a fraction of the main bottle size. I’ve tried to capture how there is a bottle inside a bottle. So at £6.95 (price correct at the time of this update) a bottle, you’re not really getting much when you have to use so much to remove your powder.

Resolution

As things stand right now, it’s taken two & a half weeks to get to this point and obviously, I’ve not had a response back since my last message, so no resolution as yet. If and when that changes, I will follow up with what happened.

28/8/22

Sistaco insists they want me to show them a video. So I did and sent it off today (Sunday) so obviously not expecting a reply. If I do, it will probably be mid-week before I get one and we know they are going to insist nothing is wrong. I had to put three coats on as there were streaks with just two and it still doesn’t look smooth.

Hi Caroline,

Thank you for reaching out to us. 
I can confirm the receipt of the photo but there is no video attached in the email. 
Your nail application is looking perfect. We do our best to make sure that the colours are represented as accurately as possible on our website however, the colour may still vary depending on the calibration of your screen/monitor. Please refer to our FAQs about Colour Representation. 
Hope this information helps.
Kind regards,

My Reply

I sent two emails, one with the video and one with an image as they would not fit into one email.  I’ve found another way to send you the video. 
So, you’re telling me you’re not going to do anything about my issue?  This is very bad customer service.  

As I have previously explained, I’ve been using your products for over a year and I have never had issues with your powders before, to have been treated in the way that I have been to date, is really quite shocking and unprofessional.  I have been fobbed off, made feel like a liar and most definitely not a valued customer!  
You say:  “the colour may still vary depending on the calibration of your screen/monitor”.  I am including more images taken after the video to show how the colour is still showing to be not as advertised or even close to it.  I have also read your “colour representation” and other FAQ and you seem to wash your hand of all issues your customers may ever encounter.  

Your T&C say “Any defects will be replaced as long as we have reasonable evidence such as a photo sent by email to [email protected].”  This I have done, again the fact many others have said this powder looks Silver is still not enough for you.  

Unfortunately, I’m beginning to see behaviour from Sistaco that to me is somewhat underhand and secretive:
  • You’re website advertise/claim that Sistaco is not responsible for 90% of issues that may arise (your defence would not stand up in a UK court of law)
  • You have a co.uk website but fail to make customers aware your products are shipped for Australia or that you are an Australian company.
  • Express Remover is packaged in a heavy-painted square bottle, giving customers the illusion they are getting a decent amount of product when in reality there is another bottle inside that is a fraction of the size.
  • You block comments from your Facebook page that is not complimentary therefore manipulating the image of Sistaco products as a whole! 

With the price you charge for your products, one would expect customer service to be second to none and receive better treatment when coming to you with a genuine issue.

We are talking about ONE powder that may or may not be faulty and as a company, you blankly refuse to take responsibility!  As a result of this, you have now created a situation where you have an unhappy customer who will be taking the matter further.  Whereas, if you had simply offered to replace this powder, you would have had a very happy customer who would have blown your trumpet and complimented Sistaco.  

As you are unwilling to satisfactorily resolve my complaint, you leave me no other choice but to take this matter further.  I will be contacting the Queensland Government’s Office of Fair Trading in due course with my concerns.
Kind Regards

Image Comparison
My result V Sistaco’s
2/9/22

Hi Caroline, 
Thank you for your response and I am happy to assist with your enquiries. 
Sistaco operates with local websites as this allows us to segment our audience and marketing.  We also sell in a currency that is local to the region and provide information that may only concern that market; such as our Terms and Conditions that may vary from country to country, depending on different regulatory requirements.​
The packaging on our liquids such the Express Remover are intended that way as they are light sensitive and they will set in UV rays.
We’ve also set up group guidelines in our group so we can better assist you our customers. This can be found in the About section of the page. 

As I have checked, I am an unable to confirm the colour Satin powder on your orders. Can you kindly confirm the order number for this and can you kindly check the name of the colour powder at the bottom of the pot?​
Kind regards,

My Reply

I did show the colour when submitting my video of the application that Sistaco requested, I’m not trying to pull a fast one here you know.  I really am getting fed up with all of Sistaco’s requests.  Why was I not asked for all of this at the beginning?  Is it because Sistaco keeps coming up with new ways to fob me off in the hope I will just give up!
To answer your question.  I received both Satin & Emerald City as a present from my husband.  Order no:  K30035  Name Jeff Bathurst, 300 Summerwood Road, Isleworth, London, TW7 7QP
This is extremely bad customer service!!
Kind Regards

Hi Caroline,​
Thank you for confirming your order and yes I can see Satin on the order thus I have reached out to our team for further advise. ​
As I have checked, the photo from our website is applied with our Matte Top Coat, this gives a different effect and finish against applying it with the gloss finish.
With this, I have created a photo comparison for you with our Satin gloss finished application on our website in which you got the correct colour. Satin definitely gives this glistening white when applied in gloss as opposed to a flat finish when applied with the matte top coat. 🙂 

Currently, our Matte Top Coat is sold out and hopefully it will be back soon. ?
​Hope this information helps and let me know if you have any questions. 
Kind regards,

Does my application (middle image) look anything like the other 2 that Sistaco supplied? I don’t believe so.

My reply – 6/9/22

So basically, you’re telling me you have advertised a product showing a particular finish but fail to inform customers that that different finish will result in a different look than advertised and to achieve the result advertised, I now must spend more money on purchasing a matt finish top coat????  How about you just issue a refund as I bought this item under false pretences and misleading information.

So ALL your customers instinctively know this do they?  Again, not being as transparent as you could be!  By not informing your customers of this, this is a form of misleading them, something you seem to do very often.

So why is Sistaco NOT resolving my complaint???

Thank you for that information as now I need to update my review of your product on my website to include this, to make sure all my readers know that different top coats can change how an advertised product can look.  Wow, we are buying a mystery product every time then!!
I have to say, 10/10 for fobbing off a customer and taking the longest time ever to still not resolve my complaint over ONE powder that Sistaco have misleadingly advertised.

I have to say though, you have made my case to Queensland Trading Standards even stronger.  Yes, I do know what I’m talking about as I fight consumer law cases regularly!!!!

Reading their T&C you can see they basically say they are NOT responsible for ANYTHING that a customer may have to complain about. That’s ok, I’ll inform the Brisbane Trading standards of their behaviour and bottles etc.

Still waiting for a response!

It looks like Sistaco really does not care about its customers. Their attitude is very similar to the fake companies you find on Facebook when you try to rectify a problem with them. Complete disregard for the fact they have an issue and fob you off until you just go away.

I will email Queensland Trading Standards but if they are anything like here, they’ll just fob you off too!

I do love this product (90% of the time) if only their cust serv was better, this would make Sistaco probably one of the best companies around.


So, literally a month down the road I still had no reply. I emailed them informing them, that as they were unable to give a satisfactory resolution to my complaint, I would now be taking the matter further.

I got a reply informing me they have given me a credit for the cost of one powder (presumably £14) and to use the code they gave me the next time I purchase with them. Not the resolution I wanted as now I have to still spend money with their company to benefit my credit!

Conclusion

Sistaco hasn’t given me the resolution I had hoped for but I suppose I have no choice as things stand. I will say this though, it is worth noting I didn’t give up, I kept on at them and finally got a result. Sistaco di try to get me to give up but it didn’t work. I will still contact Trading Standards as I do believe Sistaco operate without full disclosure on many different aspects of their business. They have been very bad at customer service:

  • They drag their feet in responding, sometimes more than a week
  • Fob you off with any and all excuses they can think of
  • Advertise powders in different finishes but fail to explain this will result in a different outcome to what is advertised (as they don’t inform the customer as to what finish they have used – (either matt/gloss) in the image used on their website). Therefore, misleading the customer!

Unfortunately, this treatment has tainted my opinion of their product and especially their company! I would always tell people of Sistaco whenever anyone commented on my nails. Now? Not likely, I wouldn’t want to be responsible for anyone having issues with Sistaco.

Related Blogs

WAV – What Is It And Why has It Improved My Independence?

Tapi Carpets: How Good Is Their Service And Products?

If you liked what you have read and you would like me to review one of your products or work with me in some other way, please don’t hesitate to Contact Me.

WAV what is it and how has it improved my independence

WAV – What Is It And Why has It Improved My Independence?

WAV – Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. A vehicle you can drive from your wheelchair or internal transfer to the driver seat or be a passenger. I have a WAV and it has improved my independence to the point I no longer have to depend on my husband to be my personal chauffeur. Where can you get one? How much are they? What adaptions can I have? I will do my best to answer all of these questions and many more.

What Is A WAV?

Wheelchair accessible vehicle with ramp deployed

A WAV – “Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle” can be a van, caddy or some other type of vehicle big enough to take a wheelchair user inside. Myself, I have a Ford Transit Van, this has room for my electric wheelchair and up to 4 passengers.

There are many ways a wheelchair user may travel/drive a WAV. To my knowledge, you have:

  • Wheelchair user as a passenger – The wheelchair user is a full-time passenger in the vehicle and someone else drive the vehicle.
  • Wheelchair user internal transfer – Wheelchair user transfers from their wheelchair into the driver seat to drive. This is what I have.
  • Drive from wheelchair – The vehicle is adapted so the wheelchair user may drive the vehicle from their wheelchair.

WAV’s can be adapted in many different ways to suit the wheelchair user. Hand controls for driving, six-way driver seat, ramp, floor locking device, too many to mention. This is something that you would need to discuss with the supplier of the vehicle.

Where Can I Get A WAV?

One of the main places people get a WAV from is Motability, (if you are in receipt of DLA/PIP high rate mobility). They are the most knowledgeable about WAVs unless, of course, you go directly to a WAV company.

Me? I was at a Motability roadshow a couple of years ago and saw Motability Operations (separate from Motability) there and spoke to them to get more information about how one would go about getting a WAV. I spoke with a wonderful man who took the time to talk to me and explain things. There were two main criteria required:

  1. In receipt of DLA/PIP mobility high rate.
  2. Working or volunteering, which warranted a vehicle.

As I met both requirements, I was able to go ahead with an application if I wished. I went home to think things over.

What Adaptations Can I Have?

When applying for a WAV, you will meet with a person who will discuss with you what your needs are and then talk you through what they can offer you. Truly, there are tons of different adaptions that can be made to a vehicle to enable you to drive. Just to name a few:

  • Pedal Modifications
  • Hand Controls
  • Seating Adaptions
  • Wheelchair Stowage Solutions
  • Vehicle Access Solutions
  • Drive From Wheelchair Conversions
  • Electronic Step Access
  • Space Drive
Six-way electronic seat on runners

The list is truly endless and it is mind-blowing the things that can be done. Personally, my van has rear ramp access, a 6-way driver seat, a floor locking device to lock my electric wheelchair while I’m either a passenger or driver, a button push handbrake and automatic gears.

The image on the left shows my driver seat on runners. This allows the driver seat to be operated electronically, it can go backwards & forwards, up & down and rotates left & right to allow me to transfer into the driver seat.

How Much Does A WAV Cost?

This really depends on how you go about getting a WAV, with Motability, you can get one (if you are accepted) on a lease scheme for 5 years, check out their website for more in-depth information. If you go directly to a WAV company, there, you can look into both used and new WAVs to purchase. Here are a few companies I found that sell WAVs (please make sure you do your research in what best suits your needs), I am not responsible for any third party links I have supplied: Also if purchasing privately, you will need to arrange for your adaptations to be done by them (if they do adaptations or a third party company). The more you need to be adapted, the higher the price will obviously be.

Brotherwood – Based in Dorset
Gowrings Versa Mobility – Berkshire & West Yorkshire
Automotive Group – Newcastle Upon Tyne
WAV Compare – Directory of WAV dealers

What Is The Process?

I went through Motability Operations for my WAV. Once I had filled in the necessary forms and these were accepted, someone came to my home to discuss my needs and go through what could be done, adaptions wise. The pandemic started shortly after this adding some time to the overall time period. In total, it took approx a year from filling in the forms to receiving my vehicle.

I had to also apply for a grant to pay for all the adaptations needed. I had to wait to find out if I had been accepted for the grant before anything could move forward. Once approved, I test drove three different WAVS (not all at the same time). When I was happy with my vehicle choice, work got underway to adapt it to my needs.

These are called stages 1 & 2, this is where (I think) two different companies work on the modifications needed. One company deals with the lowering of the vehicle floor to allow for the ramp entry and the electric driver seat, while the other company deals with tie-downs, electric handbrake etc. This is where the process can take some time. The more that needs to be adapted, the longer things will obviously take. Due to the pandemic, this did indeed take quite some time for me.

The vehicle is brought out once or twice so they can measure up tie downs, wheelchair floor clamps etc. This is exciting as you get a sneak peek into what your WAV is going to look like.

Once all the modifications are complete and everything is as it should be, you get the official handover and the WAV is now with you for the duration of however long your contract, lease etc maybe.

Final Thoughts

Since receiving my van, my independence has soared. I no longer have to depend on my husband to take me places and my husband no longer has to strain his back getting my heavy electric chair up and down ramps while getting it in & out of the car boot. So I would say a win, win all round.

One thing I will say though, a little warning so to speak, I didn’t account for the sheer size of the vehicle. It took me some time to feel confident driving such a big vehicle, this is something to bear in mind when making a choice on the vehicle you want/need.

**UPDATE** 25/3/22

It is NOISY and bloody uncomfortable as a passenger!! Disappointed is an understatement, to say the least! As a passenger, my electric wheelchair is held in place via a floor locking device and a seat belt. I feel every bump on the road and for someone who suffers terrible back pain most days, this plays havoc.

If I’m a front seat passenger (as I can transfer), the ride is much smoother indeed. The trouble is, I don’t want to have to transfer from my wheelchair to the driver’s seat and then onto the front passenger seat every time I’m a passenger. I mean, the reason for being a passenger on any day is due to pain.

Noise? OMG, the van makes such a racket. The ramp rattles and shakes, it sounds like you can hear every nut and bolt moving. Because of this, don’t try and have a conversation in the back, it’s almost impossible and even worse if you’re trying to talk to either the driver and/or the front passenger.

There have been many times I have felt quite alone on a journey because I can’t hear others talking to me. Maybe I should just plug in some headphones and go off into my own little world!

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Spectra XTR2: Electric Wheelchair Review

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Tapi carpets not the 5 star rating they claim to have

Tapi Carpets: How Good Is Their Service And Products?

As I won my compensation claim against NHS Wheelchair Service/contracted repairers for damage caused to my floors by leaking batteries in my electric wheelchair, I am now in a position to have my floors finally replaced. I chose Tapi Carpets, I’m looking to have them lay laminate flooring throughout all of our downstairs and lay a carpet in our bedroom. If I found Tapi to be of good quality and service, I would then book them to do my stair/landing floor. So a fairly lucrative order for Tapi. So, how good were their service and products?

Tapi Carpets: How Good Is Their Service And Products? – I contacted Tapi Carpets as they had been recommended to me. I had browsed their website which I found to be informative. It had a good range of laminate flooring, carpets and luxury vinyl tiles. We were looking for laminate flooring throughout the downstairs of our home and carpet for our bedroom. Once we decided on what we would like, I contacted the company to arrange for them to come and do a quote.

Our Quote From Tapi

A gentleman came out who seemed pleasant enough but had no idea as to what we wanted quoting. (Something that I had told the operator who booked our appointment). We told him which flooring we wanted and he explained and apologised as he didn’t have those samples as a new line of flooring was coming in. Off to a great start I see!

We went on to explain we needed very tough wearing floors to handle my electric wheelchair as it is an indoor/outdoor chair so is very heavy and has large gripping tyres. He confirmed the floors we had chosen would be fine and Tapi offer a “wear guarantee” on every floor.

Tapi Carpets:  How Good Is Their Service And Products?  This is what they offer.
Tapi offers all of the above, some are an extra charge.

Our quote arrived later that day via an email priced at £1840.98. Our quote included:

  • Laminate flooring for our hall, lounge and kitchen
  • Underlay for all laminate flooring – Extra charge (Note: Some of the flooring supplied by Tapi require you have underlay for warranty purposes).
  • Scotia’s & End profiles (End profiles, no idea what they are)
  • Carpet for our bedroom & Spray adhesive
  • Uplift, removal and disposal of all existing flooring – Extra charge
  • Fitting – Extra charge – Tapi don’t make it clear that payment is direct to fitters on completion

We decided to go ahead with our quote. The three floors we ordered were:

From left to right – Floor 1: Richmond – Pembroke Oak, Floor 2: Richmond – Asgil Oak, Floor 3: Dallas Carpet.

Tapi Not Generous With Important Information

We were told by two different people at Tapi, the time-frame would be 2-3 weeks from start to finish. Great, won’t be long until completion. We paid for our flooring 10th August 2020, the fitters came to lay our hall/lounge floor 25th September 2020. Hmm, is that 2-3 weeks?? Have I miss-calculated? No, I didn’t think so.

While waiting, I contacted Tapi to get information about how the laying of the floors would be with a full-time wheelchair present. (I needed access to my wet room), so needed to know some sort of schedule.

Tapi replied, “The fitter will fit one room at time. If the wheelchair user is able to wait in a different room while he fits that’ll be great”. Sorry but that information wasn’t really all that helpful. (Should I just vacate my home altogether?). So glad I didn’t!! All will become clear soon.

We were told we would receive contact from Tapi the day before fitting, with arrival times of the fitters. Mid-afternoon I hadn’t received anything. As Tapi had been fairly bad at communication to date, hubby and I began to wonder if this was a terrible sign. I phoned the store, just rang and rang, emailed, nothing, tweeted, nothing! We were now getting worried we had paid a lot of money for something that wasn’t going to happen!

At 4:56 pm, I received an automated email: Tomorrow’s the big day! “Your fitter will contact you either later today, or tomorrow morning, to let you know when they’ll be arriving”. (They never did ring me). Then, 5:32 pm (Talk about 11th hour!!) I receive an email from Tapi with the information I needed. The fitters would be arriving between 9-11 am.

The Fitting Of Our Floors

Our new living room laminate flooring in dark brown wood

Our fitters (who I have to clarify are NOT Tapi employees, Tapi contract the work out to third parties, according to the fitters) arrived at 11 am. Two men arrived, introduced themselves and got straight to work. They worked non-stop until 10 pm. They were very nice and I have no complaints whatsoever.

The fitters were professional and friendly and I have to say, very impressed as they cleaned up every bit of mess and even mopped the new floor once finished.

In fact, I would recommend them to anyone looking for fitters and I’m hoping they will be returning to fit our kitchen floor once that has been rectified. More on that later.

Our floor in the lounge and hallway is amazing and beautiful looking. I am very impressed with the work that has been done. 10/10 to our fitters…Thank you for doing such a brilliant job.

No Kitchen Floors Today!

Our fitters showed us a sample of the flooring that was to be laid in the kitchen (taken from a new packet). Omg, I could have cried, the sample was (in my opinion) nothing like what we had ordered or what the website advertises. The sample looked like it had been lifted up from a high traffic warehouse after 20 years of use!! The website shows a lovely rich dark/black wooden laminate floor, shown below (middle picture).

The sample looked extremely washed out (Pictured left), I actually thought it was a sample that been in their van for some time. I was shocked this had come out of a new packet of flooring. Put against our present black flooring, the sample is far from black. The far-right picture shows what we believe to look very close to what floor came with the fitters.

Yes, I’m aware we are always told colours shown on a website are not always identical in real-life, but not this different! We explained to the fitters this is not the flooring we ordered and did not want them to lay it down in our kitchen. They advised ringing the store. I explained that the store NEVER answers their phone, so the fitter rang (to whoever) on our behalf.

Tapi said they would need to compare the sample to their shop sample to confirm if they are the same and then take things from there. It may be the case the wrong flooring was sent out or the image on the website is wrong. (I believe the latter is the case, to be honest).

More Mistakes By Crappy Tapi!

The following morning (Saturday), I received a phone call from Tapi. (I thought this was regarding the sample from the previous day. No, not so lucky!) It was to inform me, the fitter went to the warehouse to pick up my carpet and was told that particular carpet (Dallas in Grey) hadn’t been in distribution for some time and therefore not available!! This was the last thing I needed to hear!

I was so angry! I told Tapi, that I would choose a new floor for my kitchen and another one for our bedroom without any quibble from Tapi. He agreed!

Resolution So Far?….None!

So, the following day (Sunday 27th Sept) I rang Tapi for an update. The flooring for both kitchen and bedroom was on order and once confirmed, an appointment would be made for the fitters to come and lay the floors. He explained he was off on Wednesday and would get in touch with me on Thursday with dates for fitting.

I didn’t hear anything on Thursday, so I sent an email the following day (Friday), for an update on my floors. Tapi replied 5/10/2020 informing me my carpet was due for delivery the following day and could be fitted that week. Great! Bad news? My kitchen floor is out of stock and will probably take to the end of October before it’s back in stock again…..Bloody typical!! I now mentioned a goodwill gesture wouldn’t go amiss, he said he would see what he could do.

Due to the timeframe, the fitters who lay my hall/lounge floor understandably now would like paying for the work done so far. They asked if I could phone Tapi for the cost of what was owed to them so far. I did this and paid what was owed.

Bedroom Carpet

Friday 9th October, finally my bedroom carpet is laid, 2 months since payment!! The fitters, (Different fitters from laminate fitters), did ring beforehand with a timeframe as the standard auto email explained.

Three men turned up to lay one rectangle bedroom carpet. NONE of them wore any PPE, not even a mask!! What angers me the most is the fact Tapi is fully aware I’m a disabled customer, one would assume common sense would tell you that that customer is most likely shielding, yes? If unsure…….Bloody ASK!!

Tapi’s website says the following:

Fitting Service

  • Our fitting partners are working across England, Scotland and Wales.
  • They have been provided with adequate PPE equipment and will be sanitising between every visit.
  • They will ensure that social distancing is maintained at all times while in your home.

Not my fitters! Not even as much as have one mask between them!!

They also say: “Rest assured, we will continue to put the safety of our teams and customer first, and feel confident we have the right technology and processes in place to ensure this”. So why knowingly put unprotected fitters into a disabled person home??

They were also in quite hurry, they came in my front door, straight upstairs, no hello, broke a picture frame, took roughly 20 minutes and gone! But took 3 of them to do that!

To add insult to injury, the fitter was unable to supply an invoice, nor did they offer a receipt of our payment. I have since messaged them asking for both. Would not recommend these fitters at all.

Reading Tapi’s TrustPilot reviews, this is not the first time this has happened. I emailed and complained!

They did get back to me informing me my complaint has been passed onto the manager who is also CEO. Nothing since!

Kitchen Floor

I finally got a date for my kitchen floor to be laid, 9th November 2020! That is 3 months (literally to the date), from the date we paid Tapi for our order. So if/when crappy Tapi tell you 2-3 weeks for completion, they probably mean 2-3 MONTHS!!

Even though Tapi told us the end of Oct our floor would arrive, when I complained about the carpet fitters wearing no PPE, I asked for an update on our kitchen floor…..Guess what? Our floor was in!! When was Tapi going to tell me???

The floor was fitted by the same company that fitted our lounge/hall flooring, so again no issues. The only downside to the flooring is the fact it is NOT what we had originally ordered, Tapi was unable to offer a suitable alternative, so we went with the same flooring as in the hall/lounge.

I’m sure the majority of you will understand me when I am extremely disappointed in not getting the floor I wanted.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Quality and style of our laminate floor seem very very good. I would recommend this floor. We have since decided to have this our kitchen now as crappy Tapi’s (black) flooring is not black!
  • Their prices are fairly reasonable.
  • Tapi gives you wear guarantee on every floor. Our downstairs floor has 20 years wear guarantee. (How this will pan out if I need to use this, I have no idea, TrustPilot’s review are not promising!) Our (new choice) of carpet doesn’t state “wear guarantee” on their website. (A bit worrying).
  • The laminate fitters are professional, friendly and work very hard. The result is wonderful.

Cons:

  • Tapi can take forever to order/lay your flooring. It’s taken 3 months so far for us!
  • When having a quote, the salesperson may not have samples to show you. DO NOT trust Tapi’s images on their website, they can NOT be trusted.
  • Make sure you check the fitter’s invoice, our carpet fitters tried overcharging us. (Tapi can give you a break down of the fitter’s charges on request).
  • Confirm the product you want is still being sold, the carpet we ordered is still being advertised on their site even though Tapi say is no longer available. (False advertising?)
  • Information to help disabled customers leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Informed regarding extra charges – (Moving of furniture, uplift of your previous flooring, disposal of your old flooring). Is not made clear enough!
  • You pay the fitters separately from Tapi once they have laid your floor/s. This is a real annoyance when more than one fitter is involved.
  • Our carpet fitters wore no PPE whatsoever when laying our carpet.
  • Chase Tapi every time when waiting for your flooring to come in. They have a great knack at not informing customers when their flooring arrives.

Conclusion

Tapi Carpets have been unable to provide a service one would expect from a so-called professional company. They have shown complete incompetence, total disregard for any and all upheaval and confusion throughout my whole experience with them.

From not being able to provide samples of flooring, selling me a carpet they say they haven’t been selling for some time (yet still advertise this very carpet/colour on their website) to providing flooring that doesn’t match with any shop sample or website image and sending fitters who don’t wear PPE, yet state on their website PPE is supplied to their fitters??

The sad part is, they are reasonably priced and so far, their products do seem to be of good quality. But, the stress of the whole experience is NOT worth any money I may have saved. It really isn’t!

As a disabled customer, they seemed incapable of answering or reassuring me on any queries I had. To not be able to reassure a customer they will be able to go to the toilet while their floor is being laid, is quite shocking really!!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I would like to have my stairs and upstairs hall carpet replaced. Will I use Tapi?? Never, even if hell froze over!!!

Would I recommend Tapi? No! Quite the opposite, I would advise staying clear away from this incompetent company. They actually behave as they have only just started trading in this field.

**UPDATE** 25/3/22

My floors I have to say are holding up nicely. No lifting, fading and as a full-time electric wheelchair user, no scratches. Cleaning them is easy, we use one of those mops that look like they use wet wipes. I noticed when they were first laid (wooden flooring), there didn’t seem to be much of a shine of them. They looked very dull but as time goes by, I’ve noticed they have a nice sheen off them now.

It is very unfortunate the company behave like they don’t know much as their products are proving (at the moment) to be very good.

If you liked what you have read and would like to work with me don’t hesitate to Contact Me. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Magnetic false lashes, are they easy to apply

False Eyelashes: That Work With Poor Dexterity

False Eyelashes: That Work With Poor Dexterity: I have poor movement and grip in my hands. I have searched for what feels like a lifetime for false eyelashes that I can put on and take off by myself. That search is now over!

A few years ago, I used to get individual lashes put on at a beauty salon to give me fuller and longer eyelashes. I really don’t know why I did this as there really wasn’t anything wrong with my own lashes once I had applied mascara. I suppose seeing other females with what I believed to be lovely long lashes made me feel like mine were not good enough.

Unfortunately, this was a big mistake! Having this done repeatedly for approx 6 months, I ruined my own lashes. What the beauty salons don’t tell you is that while having the glued-on false individual lashes removed, they can and often do, pull your own lashes out along with them. This, in turn, makes your own lashes look short, uneven and very sparse. So, of course, you feel the need to have this treatment again! It ends up being a vicious circle. I found my own lashes never really grew back properly.

I suffered from having minimal lashes for well over a year before they grew back to anywhere near what I had previously and even now, they are not like they used to be but that could also be down to my age lol.

My Dream of Wearing False Eyelashes

False Eyelashes:  That Work With Poor Dexterity - An eye wearing pink feather false eyelashes

Anyway, ever since I can remember, I wanted to be able to wear false eyelashes. You know, for those wild nights out or special occasions. (Although not many wild nights anymore :)) Due to my disability, I could never use them due to how fiddly they were to put on and all that glue…..Always terrified I was going to harm my eyes by getting the glue in my eyes.

I tried so many times to find a workaround with the glue, applicators and different types of lashes. Nothing worked, so I had to give up. (Hence why I started using the salons for false lashes). One of my regrets, I have to say.

That is until now……Magnetic false eyelashes…….The solution to my problem 🙂 This did take a few trials and errors to find what worked for me (and my hands). I tried them using an applicator, that was useless, I bought eyelashes with only 3 magnets, they didn’t sit right. Finally, I found a good combination….

The Solution to my Problem

Magnetic eyelashes, how do they work?

  1. You apply the magnetic eyeliner as you would any other liner – I would suggest testing the amount you need to apply – Let dry for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Take your magnetic lashes and position them onto the magnetic eyeliner as close as possible to your own top lashes.

Superdrugs magnetic false eyelashes online listing

I started out using Superdrugs magnetic false lashes that comes with its own magnetic eyeliner, magnetic eyelashes and liner brush. I found several issues with this product.

Issues
  • The lashes didn’t sit right
  • The pot of magnetic gel liner is glupey/sticky and very difficult to apply and dried out after one use.
  • The price was very expensive

So, I did some research and looked online for alternatives. I ended up buying an applicator that looked like an eyelash curler to see if this would aid me in putting them onto my eyes.

The applicator came with magnetic lashes. These lashes are supposed to sit above and under your top lashes. I used Superdrugs magnetic liner. What a bloody palaver that turned out to be!

The applicator was more than useless. The lashes magnetised to the applicator (obviously) but when you put them to your eye and try to release the lashes to sit on your own lashes, they don’t budge, they will not come off the applicator and if they do, you have only half the lashes on your eyes. Not a pretty sight I can tell ya lol

Next Idea

Moving onto my next idea, I decided to dump the applicator and lashes and look for some different ones. You may or may not know these lashes can come in all shapes, sizes and thicknesses. It’s a personal preference as to which ones you want to buy/wear.

Also, magnetic eyelashes can come with different amounts of magnets. Some have three and some have four (that I can tell). I definitely recommend using ones with 4 magnets.

Still using Superdrugs liner, I made sure the next pair of magnetic lashes that I bought had four magnets. They came in a handy compact holder (shown to the right) on eBay for a good price.

As Superdrugs liner is very dry and sticky, applying it onto your eyelids can be hard work. I tend to put mine on fairly thick, I never know how close I’m going to get the lashes to my own. So, if they are not as close as I would have hoped, I still have plenty of eyeliner for them to magnetise to.

Conclusion

I have terrible grip and movement in my hands. I struggle putting on false eyelashes in the conventional way (lashes and glue method). Thankfully, a new breed of false eyelashes have emerged and are much easier for me to use.

  1. Decide the right shape, size and thickness of magnetic false eyelashes to want to wear.
  2. Decide if you want to/can use an applicator.
  3. Purchase magnetic eyelashes, liner and applicator as a set or individually – I would advise you get lashes with 4 magnets, they stay in place much better.
  4. Apply the magnetic liner.
  5. Place the lashes as close as you can to your own.

Job done!!

One thing I will say though, Superdrugs magnetic eyeliner is a bitch to take off. I had mine on all day and I used a wet wipe to remove the liner and ended up hurting my eye. I never normally have any issues using a wet wipe to remove my liner, it’s my usual routine but whatever this eyeliner is made from, it really doesn’t want to come off.

Do search around as prices can vary greatly. I got all mine on eBay, in fact, I have just bought some liquid magnetic liner to see if that is any easier to apply compared to Superdrugs Gel liner. Once I have received it and tried it, I will update and let you know how I found it.

I wore mine yesterday (a fairly windy day) and they stayed on the whole time. Now, I do wear glasses when out, so this may have helped. They are extremely comfortable to wear, so comfortable, I forgot I was wearing them, to be honest.

I say, give them a go, they are so easy to apply and can be bought at reasonable prices if you shop around.

More Info

If you liked what you have read and would like to work with me don’t hesitate to Contact Me.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Fish insurance logo

Fish Insurance: Do You Have Insurance For Your Wheelchair?

Insure your mobility equipment with the disabled insurance specialists Fish insurance

Fish Insurance: Do You Have Insurance For Your Wheelchair? – If you insure your wheelchair or mobility aid, you get peace of mind and protection for your chair.  Fish Insurance is a company that can insure your mobility products:

  • Mobility Scooter
  • Manual Wheelchair
  • Electric Wheelchair
  • Prosthetics & Orthotics

And of course all the other stuff like home/holiday insurance etc.

As you may be aware, I am due to fly out to Vegas later in the year and my biggest worry of all things that could go wrong is my electric wheelchair being broken, or worse, lost!!  That would be my trip destroyed.  So insurance is very important.  My insurance package for my NHS Electric Wheelchair with Fish includes a worldwide cover (including baggage handler cover).  This is exactly what I needed to put my mind at rest, I’m sure you can imagine the stress I was feeling!

As a responsible wheelchair user, (well, most of the time :))  I decided it was a good idea to be insured, if nothing else, for third-party.  We all know there are people out there that will do anything to make a buck or two.  Anyway, a few of my friends recommended Fish.

So I rang them up yesterday to get a quote as I found their website to have a few flaws:

  • Didn’t have my make and model of wheelchair
  • When you click on “Get Your Quote” you are taken through the steps to “purchase” the insurance.

It turns out Fish did actually have my make/model of wheelchair but was just not showing up on the website.  This flaw could possibly invalidate your insurance if you haven’t selected your correct wheelchair.

The first man I spoke with was helpful but sounded rather bored and like he really didn’t want to be there.  I didn’t feel confident in going any further with my enquiry or even purchase, so I told him I would ring back later.  Which I did do.  The second man I spoke with was very nice and very chatty, actually, it got to the point where I thought I was never going to get off the phone but nonetheless, I did.  He answered all my questions and I was happy enough to go ahead and purchase the insurance.

At the time of taking out my insurance, here are a couple of the things they cover:

  • Loss or theft Up to £7,000
  • Third-party liability Up to £2m
  • Contingent liability of Up to £2m
  • Personal accident Up to £3,000
  • Worldwide cover (including baggage handler cover) – Excludes liability cover in North America & Canada (Up to 21 days)

Please remember, insurance companies are always changing/updating their policies, so the above may be different if/when you enquire/purchase yours.

A couple of points to remember:

  • Make sure you tell them if your wheelchair is manual or electric
  • If your wheelchair is NHS or privately owned – Each have their own pricing
  • Make sure you pick the correct option for your wheelchair/scooter – You don’t want to invalidate your insurance

To get more information, please visit Fish’s website:  https://www.fishinsurance.co.uk/

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If you liked my blog, why not sign up to my Newsletter so you never miss a beat, or leave a comment below. If there is anything you would like me to blog about, don’t hesitate to Contact Me.

Spectra XTR2 wheelchair review

Spectra XTR2: Electric Wheelchair Review

Spectra XTR2: Electric Wheelchair Review -Electric wheelchairs or any type of disability aid are designed to make our lives easier and make us more independent. I would be house-bound and unable to have any kind of life outside my home without my electric wheelchair. The simple task of making a drink would be impossible. I share my review of my electric wheelchair.

Spectra XTR2

Spectra XTR2:  Electric Wheelchair Review - Black & white electric wheelchair the Spectra XTR2

I got my Spectra XTR2 electric wheelchair via the NHS, so, unfortunately, I can’t tell you about all the different specs that are available for this chair.  The only thing I am aware of is the seating and backrest.  I know there are a couple of options for these.

I’ve had this chair now for approx 7 months and the first thing I should mention is the fact it has a solid seat base, not a canvas seat.  This makes the suspension really bad, especially for people with back issues.  According to Invacare, they say “High torque motors and a unique suspension design provide a smoother, easier ride”.  Rubbish, from my experience!!  I feel every bump I go over.  I have wooden thresholds in my home (yeah I know, doesn’t make sense for a wheelchair adapted property) and I am jolted every time I have to go over one.  Only yesterday I went into a shop that had a step of bout half an inch and I felt I was gonna be thrown out of my chair because of the jolt I got.  Really hurt my back and chest.  With a solid seat, it is essential to have a very good cushion to protect your coccyx.  

***UPDATE*** 

I have had my suspension springs changed for softer ones and so far this has made an improvement.  There are different levels of springs: 

  • Orange – Normal
  • White – Hard
  • Black – Very hard
  • Black – Xtra hard

I now have the Orange ones.  I do still feel the bumps but at least they feel softer and not so jarring through my body!!

Luxury Items?

This chair also has tilt and recline.  This is pretty cool, especially when watching TV or at the cinema.  Most wheelchair spaces at cinemas are extremely close to the screen so watching a movie plays havoc with your neck.  Having tilt & recline is a godsend for this, especially if you have the headrest, oh yes it can come with one of those too.

The arm-rests that came with my chair offered no real comfort.  The padding was so low grade you can feel the wood inside.  So if you’re like me and use the arm-rests to transfer, then you are going to need more padding or new arm-rests.

The battery life is not what I expected.  I was told this chair is compared to the Storm.  Sorry but this chair doesn’t even come close to the Storm, (yes, I had one for 4 years).  So don’t be fobbed off.  According to different websites, you’re supposed to be able to get 30km (18.6411 miles) out of one charge.  I charge my chair all night, it came with a new type of battery charger where it shows you if it is half charged/fully charged.  My charger always says it is fully charged, yet, I just don’t seem to get much out of it before needing to charge it again.  I certainly don’t get 30 km, that’s for sure.  My previous chair (Harrier plus) seemed to do a lot more per charge.  It only needed charging approx every 2-3 days, regardless of where I went.  This chair doesn’t seem to want to do much work.  I know tilt/recline will use the battery but in all honesty, I use them hardly at all.

***UPDATE*** 

I was extremely unhappy with the battery performance and nervous of going any kind of distance, so I contacted my wheelchair service and they agreed that the distance my chair was doing, was not normal.  They arranged for me to have new batteries (the heavy-duty ones) and boy, the difference is staggering!  I would now say 30km is probably possible, (not put that distance to the test) but more than suitable for my needs.

The ride is now more comfortable than it was before since my springs were changed.  If you look at the picture above, you will see that chair has orange springs on the side.  My chair had the white ones but now I have the orange ones.  Looking at the picture again, I see the two front wheels look somewhat more luxurious than the ones I have.  Hmmm, I think this chair could possibly be a lot more comfortable than what I have got!!!!

***UPDATE*** 

When having my springs changed, it was also agreed that my front wheels/castors would also be changed.  I now have the front wheels shown in the image above.  This has now made most bumps a lot softer feeling.  Before every bump seemed to jolt right through my body and it was like my front wheels went down with a massive thud.  Not any more.

The backrest I have has adjustable straps.  Meaning I can tighten or loosen them to give more or less support in my back.  The chair has about 5 straps, so getting the right support in the right place is fairly easy.

In my opinion, this is a good chair and great for outdoor use.  The batteries (heavy duty ones) will get you around effortlessly and give you 5-7 miles distance easily, (this I have put to the test).  Tilt & Recline offer many seating positions so getting comfy should not be a problem…..Just make sure you know what specification your chair will have when ordering.

***UPDATE*** 30/9/22

I have just found out that the Spectra is no longer being manufactured (info from my NHS wheelchair service). They say parts can still be got for the chair but for how much longer, who knows? If you own one of these chairs, it may well be worth contacting the manufacturer (Invacare) to find out more.

My advice now would be not to purchase one of these chairs if you can help it!

More Blogs

NHS Wheelchair Service: Is Yours “Fit For Purpose”?

Electric Wheelchair Assessment: Being Told What I Do & Don’t Need As I Obviously Don’t Know My Own Disability!

Fault After Fault: Wessex Through Floor Lift

If you liked what you have read and would like to work with me don’t hesitate to Contact Me.  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Adjustable Bed. Can It Give Disabled People A Good Night's Sleep?

Adjustable Bed. Can It Give Disabled People A Good Night’s Sleep?

Adjustable Bed. Can It Give Disabled People A Good Night’s Sleep? – Comfy or just a gimmick? Having a disability can make having a good night’s sleep seem impossible. I bought an adjustable bed recently and thought I’d share my thoughts with you.

Old Bed

Adjustable Bed.  Can It Give Disabled People A Good Night's Sleep? - Grey adjustable bed with mattress

My old bed was so full of lumps & bumps, I woke every morning with terrible pain all over my body, especially my back and I felt I had been fighting in the boxing ring. So I knew it was time for a new bed and especially a new mattress. We (hubby and I) searched online for what we were looking for and found the adjustable bed frame (pictured left) on Dreams website. This was a bed frame that came with a built-in TV and was adjustable at both the head and feet. I felt so posh!!

We then had to look for a mattress to go with it. We tested a few in the store and chose a firm mattress. Although it was a “Firm” mattress, being a memory foam mattress with over 2000 micro pocket springs, it didn’t feel rock hard. The softer ones felt like they were grabbing me and sucking me into the bed. This made turning over in the bed and trying to get on/off the bed very difficult. So, we went for the mattress Hyde & Sleep Hybrid Raspberry Mattress. We were told this mattress was compatible with the adjustable bed frame we had chosen. (Make sure you check as not all mattresses are compatible). So we went ahead and ordered the bed frame and mattress.

We were told it would take 6-8 weeks for delivery, (it actually took 10 weeks) we were somewhat disappointed at the quoted time frame as we were quite desperate for a good night’s sleep but what else could we do? (We were actually getting a good deal with the offer they had at the time).

New Bed

The time finally came that our bed was being delivered. The delivery guys were wonderful. They took all the boxes up to our bedroom and laid them on the floor in the order they were to be assembled. This made it much more simple to put the bed together.

Adjustable Bed.  Can It Give Disabled People A Good Night's Sleep? - Grey adjustable bed frame with dimensions of the frame

Hubby put the whole bed & mattress together in 3 hours by himself but needed help in moving the whole thing into position as it now weighed a ton. It is recommended 2 people build it together but it can be done by 1. Now, one thing to remember! The bed frame offers two heights, not something told by staff in-store or on the website. We only found this out once we started to assemble the bed. I decided to go for the higher height due to how I transferred onto the bed from my wheelchair. Once assembled, the bed frame is solid and feels extremely sturdy, with no wobble whatsoever!

The delivery guys advised us to let the mattress breathe for a couple of hours before putting on any bedding, they said sometimes the mattress can smell, which is perfectly normal. After a few hours, all was well.

Conclusion!

I have to admit, being able to raise my head slightly to sleep is a major benefit for me due to my Vertigo, this lets me lie on either side without feeling dizzy! In all fairness, I would say the only downside for me is when you raise the backup to watch the TV. I have to put the back up practically vertical to see the TV and then you are pushed down the bed as the back-rest raises up making you sit even closer to the TV.

The mattress is extremely comfortable. You feel like you just sink nicely into it and every part of your body is being supported. The mattress needs rotating head to toe once a week for the first 3 months, then every month after that.

Pros:
  • Adjustable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Built-in TV
  • Sturdy
Cons:
  • It is a big bed frame – Make sure you have space.
  • Heavy – So once assembled, very heavy to move around
  • When raising the head section, it pushes you down the bed as it seems to bend in the middle of the bed rather than nearer the head.
  • Not VAT Exempt as this bed frame is not aimed at just disabled people.

**UPDATE** 25/3/22

We found that if you raise the back up a little, it has a tendency to fall flat throughout the night. Also, if you lean too hard on the backrest, it can also lower to the flat position.

We have also removed the TV from the foot of the bed and hung it on the wall. It was just more hassle than it was worth to fight when trying to find a good position to sit/lay in while watching. Also, if you raised the foot at all, your feet blocked your view anyway.

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If you liked my blog, why not sign up to my Newsletter so you never miss a beat, or leave a comment below. If there is anything you would like me to blog about, don’t hesitate to Contact Me.

Through floor lift with the logo of Wessex lifts

Fault After Fault: Wessex Through Floor Lift

Fault After Fault: Wessex Through Floor Lift: I am a full-time wheelchair user, I have a Through Floor Lift (TFL) to enable me to get upstairs in my home.  This lift was installed by a company called Wessex on the request of my housing association:  Notting Hill Genesis.  This lift has given me nothing but problems after problems since day 1.  I have been living in my property for 12 years at the time of writing this.

I never dreamed it possible to ever be able to live in a “house” as a wheelchair user.  I believed I would only ever live in a single level property, so when I was offered a house, I was both ecstatic and shocked.  When I went to view the property, I realised there would be a through floor lift to enable me to get up and down the house.  This lift was supplied by Wessex Lifts.

So there I was all those years ago in a new property with a through floor lift and thinking I was very posh, haha. Unfortunately, this euphoria was not meant to last as I was plagued with nothing but problems with this lift.  I had to make phone call after phone call to Notting Hill, reporting fault after fault.

Here is a list of some of the problems I had with my first lift:

Fault After Fault:  Wessex Through Floor Lift - White through floor lift sitting the down position
  1. The first problem, which happened most of the lifespan of the lift, (10 years) was the door not having enough power to close onto the latch.  The engineer came out and seemed to fix the problem. A couple of days later, the same problem occurred, so yet again, I phoned my housing officer. You guessed it, another engineer visit.  Again, the engineer seemed to fix the problem and go away. This happened repeatedly, eventually, the problem was indeed fixed.  The main issue with this problem was, if the door wasn’t shutting, I couldn’t use the lift,  therefore having to sleep on the sofa downstairs.  Something that happened quite often!

  2. My TFL would sink approx half an inch to an inch overnight. This meant the lift was not fully in the “Up” position, so, once I entered the lift in my Electric Wheelchair,  the extra weight would make the lift sink further, making it impossible for the door to close.  Once again engineers came out, scratched their heads, fiddled about, went away, came out, scratched their heads, went away, you get the picture.  Eventually, the problem was fixed several months down the road.

  3. This fault was by far the longest to fix.  This took years to fix.  In the end, one of the head engineers from Wessex themselves had to come out and have a go at fixing this one!!  As I travelled down in the lift, the safety under-pan (that detects any objects under the lift and if so, stops the lift from travelling any further) would seem to get stuck to the bottom of the lift, then violently break free and drop into place.  Sometimes, stopping the lift altogether.  I can’t remember how many times the engineers were sent out to fix it but I can assure you, it was a lot more than it should have been.  Even top managers were called out because no one could seemingly fix the problem.  It did eventually get sorted.

  4. The most frightening fault had to be the one where we had come home from doing our shopping and found the lift about to catch fire.  Yes, I said fire!!  We came in the front door and my lift is directly opposite on the other side of our hallway.  I saw a lot of smoke coming from the left side of the lift, which is up against a wall.  The smell was like burning rubber.  My husband very quickly went to the cupboard to switch off the lift and all electrics and immediately called for an engineer to come out.  He came out but had to order a new part.  The solenoid switch is what almost caught fire.  So again, another night having to sleep on the sofa.  I ended up sleeping on the sofa for a few nights.

It’s hard to explain just how a person’s daily life is affected when adaptations do go wrong.  As good as these adaptations are, when they do go wrong, you are left stranded, unable to do the task they were supplied for.  So obviously this meant I couldn’t get upstairs, which in turn meant I couldn’t go to bed, which in turn meant I had to sleep on the sofa.  Now, this wasn’t the first time this had happened, there were times before when a fault could not be fixed on the spot, or a part had to be ordered, I’d have to sleep on the sofa every time. This would make my Scoliosis much worse and the pain unbearable.  I would wake up sore and stiff every time. 

In one of the very few services that my lift got.  (I was unaware my lift should have been serviced every 6 months. My lift was not serviced every 6 months).  I was told the lift needed a new roof to meet new health & safety regulations.  Then realising my lift was over 10 years old at the time, it was decided it would be more cost-effective to replace it with a new lift altogether.  At last, some common sense!

Well, I won’t bore you with ALL the drama that happened but I will tell you that I contacted my housing officer at the time, her boss and her boss also, explaining how I didn’t want to be stuck with the same lift due to all the problems I had endured with my last lift. 

I ended up having to make a formal complaint.  You wouldn’t believe how this brought to light the number of mistakes that were made regarding servicing, engineer reports and the lack of engineer reports, my housing officer not reporting key facts, lack of duty of care. The list was truly endless!

New lift survey

Several companies came out to take measurements, photos etc, so they could then give Notting Hill a quote for a new lift.  Can you guess what they went with?  Yep, the same bloody lift!!  Can you believe after all my complaining, begging, formal complaint, they chose the exact same one!!  Talk about throwing good money after bad.  Brainless!!!

So, now I’m on my 2nd Wessex TFL of the same make/model (installed Oct 2016) because Notting Hill decided the best option was to give me the same lift that had all the above faults and plenty more. Ignoring ALL my pleas to have a different one.  How nice of them eh?

Well, what can I say…….2nd lift and within literally 2 weeks the same faults happening all over again!!!!!  You really couldn’t make this up!

  1. Lift door not closing, not fixed – Took 4 years to finally fix it
  2. Underpan sticking.  Not fixed – Did eventually get fixed
  3. Grinding noises.  Fixed.
  4. Dropping overnight.  Found to be heat-related.  (Actually, it turns out this was incorrect as it happened repeatedly all year round) – Update: It was a faulty pump (more on that in a bit).
  5. Door not shutting level, therefore not closing onto the latch.  Just bounces off the latch and opens – (I have to get back out, close the door, send the lift up a few inches, bring it back down and try again). Took over 4 years to fix – Wessex had to come and take the lift off the wall, take it appart, raise the level of the floor to make the lift sit higher – This seems to have fixed the issue.
  6. I got trapped in the lift half way up going to bed, approx 2 hours to be released – Turns out a corregated pipe got trapped behind the lift causing the lift to stop in it’s tracks.

***Update** 15/7/2020

Numbers 4 & 5 have been happening for past 6-8 months.  4 & 5 have since been resolved.  5 is still being investigated by Wessex themselves as again no-one else can fix the issue.  It would seem even Wessex themselves can’t fix the problem….No surprise there then.  An engineer came out to fix both issues of lift dropping and lift not sensing the door is closed/locked.  So now waiting for another/same engineer to come out again.  Nearly two weeks now since my regular engineer said he would report it back to Wessex.

The list just keeps growing and the problems ongoing, as soon as one is fixed, another one rears its ugly head.  The worst part though, is I continually live in fear of going out and coming home and again finding the lift almost on fire, or god forbid worse. 

Listen to the engineers

Very recently, I found out that an engineer (outside of Wessex) had been telling (the powers to be) that the problem with the majority of the faults on my lift was down to the pump. Explaining that the pump was not doing whatever it needed to do correctly with the hydraulics, he had been telling them this for over 2 years! I SUFFERED SLEEPNESS NIGHTS, PAIN, BEING TRAPPED IN THE LIFT etc. all because the powers to be didn’t want to spend the money on a new pump as it was NOT cost-effective? Yet it was cost-effective to keep sending out engineer after engineer (and paying for this) who were NOT fixing the issues??

Listen to the engineers, they ARE NOT beneath you, they are the ones visiting the client, seeing the issue/s in person, not you, sat behind your desk thinking you’re something special!!! And councils/housing associations can’t understand why they are short of money?? Couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery spring to mind!!!

Final Thoughts

Is this really how one should have to live?  Oh, hang on…..We are only disabled people, what do we matter!!  All because Notting Hill Genesis (previously known as Notting Hill) wants to save some money but in all fairness, what are they saving when they have to keep paying engineers to keep coming out and try to fix the problems??

Would I recommend this lift?  NOT BLOODY LIKELY!!  

Would I recommend Wessex?  NOT BLOODY LIKELY!!  What I can’t understand is this, both lifts (old/new) have presented exactly the same faults and in the same order??  Wouldn’t this suggest this Wessex lift has a design/manufacturing fault??  If so, why are Wessex ignoring this?  After all, I tell everyone and anyone willing to listen to me about this awful lift.

Although I would have to say the majority of Notting Hill Genesis’s contracted engineers sent out to me, I would recommend even less!!!  Some of them literally just came out, banged a couple of things and then left.

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Pandora logo - Pandora in black text with a crown above the letter O

Pandora’s Attitude, as Faulty as Their Bracelets!

Pandora’s Attitude, as Faulty as Their Bracelets! – My hubby bought me a Pandora bracelet roughly 2 years ago and over that time I managed to fill it up with charms. Throughout this period, I took advantage of Pandora’s free sonic cleaning. I wanted to keep my bracelet in as good condition as possible.

However, my bracelet never came back looking any cleaner than it had before. my bracelet still looked tarnished. This eventually got so bad I contacted Pandora’s head office to complain. Their reply was non-committal, to say the least!!

I wrote:

Dear Sir/Madam,
I have had my Panora bracelet for approx 5 months now and have had to take my bracelet into my local Pandora store for a professional clean at least 4 times, as my bracelet has tarnished very badly.

I took my bracelet in for a professional clean only on Friday (2/6/17) and as you can see in the pictures I have enclosed, this did not clean my bracelet, you can see my bracelet is still very tarnished? This is the same result every time.  You will also notice that the tarnish does not seem to affect the charms, just the clasp and the safety chain.  (I can confirm my bracelet has never come into contact with any chemicals such as perfume, detergents, hair spray etc).
We all know silver tarnishes over time and a good clean solves the problem and brings the item back to its former glory.  My bracelet was “professionally” cleaned yet it is still tarnished???  I wear other silver jewellery on a daily basis and do not seem to have a problem with tarnishing.  I am now thinking, is it just Pandora jewellery!!
 

I would love to buy your new bangle but do not wish to spend the money on something that is going to look cheap on my wrist as I am afraid this will tarnish also.

I would like to know if there is anything you can offer/do to fix my bracelet as I am extremely disappointed with having a tarnished black bracelet.  Even the shop assistant said it looked like the silver was coming off but felt this couldn’t be the case as it is real silver.  
I took my bracelet to my local store within the first week of having my bracelet due to the tarnishing and they replaced the bracelet.

Pandora responded:

Dear Caroline, 

Thank you for taking the time to email PANDORA and I’m sorry to hear about your bracelet and charms. I can completely understand how disappointing this must be for you, especially as you have such a collection. 

For the purpose of addressing your issue fully I would like to briefly outline the PANDORA warranty policy that all our stockists are trained in. PANDORA warranty on all silver items is two years, on gold it is two years and leather items it is one year. This is to allow an ample amount of time to discover any manufacturing faults with an item and rectify it for the customer free of charge. 

PANDORA jewellery is made from 925 sterling silver and 14 carat gold and these metals will naturally tarnish.  As such, tarnishing is a natural process and is not considered the result of a manufacturing fault, as is also the case with skin reactions. Factors which contribute to this are; the metals coming into contact with damp environments, prolonged exposure to UV light, and contact with perfume, body lotions, detergents, bleach, and secretions of the skin. Tarnishing can be prevented by regularly polishing all jewellery with a polishing cloth. It is worth noting that Pandora packaging is not tarnish proof and even when jewellery is not being regularly worn we would still advise to polish it to prevent tarnishing from occurring. 

I understand how disappointing this situation must be, so I would recommend taking the items back into your nearest local PANDORA store. Many PANDORA stores also have ultra sonic cleaning services available in store that can carried out for free, should this not change the appearance of the items they can also be sent to the European goldsmiths for assessment and professional cleaning.

I hope that the store are able to help further, but if you have any more queries please don’t hesitate to get back in touch.

These are the pictures:

Is this just normal tarnishing after just 5 months? If so, why does it not improve with professional cleaning? Why does my other silver jewellery not tarnish, which has come into all sorts of chemicals on a daily basis? It just doesn’t make sense to me!

This went on for a while and in the end, I had to give up as the situation was making me ill as I was still recovering from my heart attack. Pandora had made it perfectly clear they wanted nothing tarnishing their good name/reputation and would not agree that there was a fault with this bracelet.

I turned to Twitter recently to try again, and once again a brick wall, oh they were nice at first suggesting taking it for a clean, contacting Cust. Serv but once I had explained I had already done this and sent them pictures, I got nothing further…..No other correspondence from Pandora!! Complete radio silence!!

One can’t help but feel Pandora’s Customer Service is as faulty as their bracelets!!!! So now I am stuck with a dirty, ugly-looking bracelet. I won’t purchase any more Pandora products, not with a service like this!!

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