Product Reviews

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.

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.

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Magnet next to a pair of false eyelashes - text - Magnetic false eyelashes that work with my poor dexterity. Can they work for you?

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 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!

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.

Yes, it is that simple!

Superdrugs magnetic false eyelashes online listing

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

  • The lashes didn’t sit right
  • The pot of magnetic gel liner is glupey/sticky and very difficult to apply
  • 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

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 thickness. It’s 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

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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/

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.

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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. A simple task of making a drink would be impossible. I share my review of my electric wheelchair.

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.

  1. 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 who 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 the 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!!

  1. This chair also has tilt and recline.  This is pretty cool, especially when watching the 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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.

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Hands opening a sachet of tablets

PillTime: Home Deliver Pharmacy Service

Pill Time – Home delivery pharmacy service of medication. Are they any good?  According to PillTime’s website: “PillTime does everything your high street pharmacy does while making your life more convenient and medication easier to manage.

PillTime:  Home Deliver Pharmacy Service  -  Strip of pills being pulled out of a box

“We get your prescription from your GP,  pre-pack your medication by the dose into clearly labelled pouches and deliver it to your door – as easy as that”.

As easy as that they say……Hmmmm, not my experience that’s for sure.  Many of you may be thinking exactly what I thought.  What a great idea, no more running to the chemist, or asking family to collect your prescription.  Things don’t always go as we plan.  For those of you that are interested here is my experience of PillTime.

I spoke to pill time initially to join their service.  I gave them all the information regarding my medication etc.  When and what I take during one day.  My first batch arrived with lots and lots and lots of pouches.

I had two pouches for my morning tablets, presumably because of the number of pills I have to take, they wouldn’t all fit into one pouch with the information that is printed on the pouch.  I had several pouches for lunchtime, although, I only have one pill to take at lunchtime so that seemed weird and then I had about four or five pouches for the evening and bedtime.  So, I phoned pill time and told them exactly what I would like in each pouch, which should leave me with 4 pouches a day.  Two in the morning and one each for lunch and evening/bedtime.  So I awaited my second batch.

I received an email informing me that my next batch was due and if there were any changes to please phone them as soon as possible. I knew I had already contacted pill time previously, regarding my medication so had no reason to contact them now.

Approximately 10 days after receiving this email, I received a phone call telling me my doctor had not given my full prescription, therefore they had to chase up the rest of my prescription. This would not cause any issues and my medication would be dispatched to me within the next 48 hours. This I believe was on a Monday.  I explained that I was a bit concerned as my meds ran out on Thursday, I was told this would not be a problem as my meds would be with me by Friday before 1pm.

I received another call from PillTime on the Friday, informing me that one of their machines had broke and my meds missed the post.  I was assured that my package was already boxed and ready to go and would be with me by Saturday, again, before 1 PM. I brought up the fact that my meds had now run out and I had no meds for that day.  The lady explained that she was aware of this and had spoken with the pharmacists and they told her although it wasn’t the best thing to be doing it should not cause me any problems missing my medication for one day…..Hmmm not happy at this point and somewhat concerned as I had no meds.

PillTime:  Home Deliver Pharmacy Service  -  Hands opening a sachet of pills

Early Saturday morning, yes you guessed it, I received yet another phone call from PillTime.  Would you believe it, they were telling me again due to some sort of issue my meds had missed the post.  I asked, “what a second time”?  The lady was quite shocked and asked has this happened before?  I explained yes, yesterday.  I was assured my medication would be with me yesterday before 1 PM. Now today you’re telling me exactly the same thing, how can this be the case when I was told previously my medication was already boxed and ready to go in the post? Obviously she had no knowledge of this. She apologised and said this is unacceptable. I totally agreed with her and explained once is a mistake twice is more than a coincidence but with all of that in mind, my main concern was being left without medication, therefore, what was she going to do about it?

She explained I had two options, option one was to wait until Monday for my pills to reach me or option two she can release my prescription back onto the NHS online service so I can go to my local pharmacist and get my prescription. This would be the easiest option as all she had to do was click a few buttons to get my prescription back on the system.  Yeah, again a simple task, what could possibly go wrong this time?  I gave it about an hour or two and then went to the chemist, (you’ll love this bit). PillTime had not put all of my prescriptions back online, therefore the chemist was unable to dispense my full prescription. So I had my medication and now still had to wait till Monday before I could get in touch with the doctor from the rest of my prescription.

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Comfortable Nights Sleep?: Adjustable Bed

Comfortable Nights Sleep?: Adjustable Bed -Adjustable beds comfy or just a gimmick? Having a disability can make having a good night sleep seem impossible. I bought an adjustable bed recently and thought I’d share my thoughts with you.

Comfortable Nights Sleep?:  Adjustable Bed - 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 nights sleep but what else could we do? (We were actually getting a good deal with the offer they had at the time).

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.

Comfortable Nights Sleep?:  Adjustable Bed - 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 transfer onto the bed from my wheelchair. Once assembled, the bed frame is solid and feels extremely sturdy, no wobble whatsoever!

The delivery guys advised us to let the mattress breath 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.

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 back up 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.

Conclusion!

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.

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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:

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).  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, 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 to deal with, with the last lift.  I made a formal complaint and everything.  You wouldn’t believe how many mistakes were made, the duty of care missing etc.

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 same one!!  Talk about throwing good money after bad.  Brainless!!!

So, now I’m on my 2nd Wessex TFL of the same make/model because Notting Hill decided the best option was to give me the same lift ignoring ALL my pleas to have a different one.  How nice of them eh?

Well, what can I say…….2nd lift, 2 years down the road and exactly the same faults happening all over again!!!!! 

  1. Lift door not closing, not fixed.
  2. Underpan sticking.  Not fixed.
  3. Grinding noises.  Not fixed.
  4. Dropping overnight.  Found to be heat-related.  (Actually, it turns out this was incorrect as it happened repeatedly all year round).
  5. Door not shutting level, therefore not closing onto the latch.  Just bounces off the latch and opens.  (Now fixed).
  6. Door not being registered as closed, so lift won’t move.  So I have to get back out, close the door, send the lift up a few inches, bring it back down and try again.

***Update** 15/7/2020

Number 4 onwards have been happening for past 6-8 months.  4 & 5 have since been resolved.  6 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. 

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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