We used to call that Rating and Ranking at Shell. I do wonder who gets to see your scorecard. At Shell, it was all so hush-hush.

I did finally hear from Leslie. I can’t say I’m surprised at the pricing information she relayed, but it is disheartening. She is essentially a Customer Service rep, and Customer Service tends to suffer from what I refer to as “firefighter syndrome.” You know, they jump mentally from one fire to the next. Likewise, Invacare suffers from the hubris of being the dominant medical equipment manufacturer. The thought of building a durable relationship with what they consider to be a mere end user probably scares all of them. Remember that, in the medical field, the end user is rarely the paying customer. Invacare is having trouble understanding that my insurance company usually respects my judgment. When they won’t cover something I need, I just find another way. What’s the Latino exclamation? Eee—ie—ie—ie? What a bunch of …

“Flat Ari” is the perfect result of good teamwork. A laptop that the Energizer Bunny look like a pansy. Seriously, this laptop has survived an environment that eventually downed an example of Invacare’s best engineering. That should be rather humiliating. Still, I am going to have to drop a ticket for a system board pretty soon because the USB ports on the right side are coming loose. I’m not quite there yet, but I know it’s close. I almost hate to have a tech open her up, because that means pulling off the keyboard cover and all that. I’m not sure my current help can put it back together properly.

Still, if I do decide to replace a laptop this year, we may have trouble matching the success of this M15x. Dell, in its infinite(?) wisdom, discontinued the M15x. Closest match now seems to be the M14z, pretty much the same machine without the side bezels. Keyboards appear to be the same, but I’ll need for you to get up close and personal to verify that. In any case, we know that any Dell laptop I buy must have a keyboard cover. We learned that the hard way.

Four-legged Ari shows real progress, slowly. We figured out that she does have the characteristic German Shepherd intelligence, but she was apparently the runt of the kennel. That means in practice that she does not share Flat Ari’s sheer hardcore confidence. Not yet anyway, but I have noticed the last few weeks that she doesn’t spook nearly as easily as she used to. That, and she is less afraid of being beside the wheelchair. She’s also starting to accept commands from me, which means we’re on our way. Anyway, a good service dog never actually finishes training. Practice is a daily thing until the end.c

From: Bernadete
Sent: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 10:52
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Wheelchair

Hi Scott,

It’s good to hear from you again.

I see the wheelchair is giving you a hard time. Thank you for sharing your Dell experience with Leslie, I believe she will be able to pick up from there and provide the service that you require.

I appreciate and feel good that I am, and not just Dell is providing the services you need when you need it.

It’s been pretty rough in the think tank lately, about to close Dell’s fiscal year, 3 days left and gunning for the scorecards to be in blue. Inside note on our scorecards : blue = exceeds, green = meeting, yellow = almost there

and red = needs help.

Btw, how’s Ari? Is she already done with her training? I remember you were thinking of having her + 1 adopted.



From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall]
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 12:40 PM

Cc: Padua – Mateo, Bernadete
Subject: Wheelchair


As you may have heard, Great American Scooter Co. was able to get my wheelchair running on Friday. The service call lasted five hours because we ran into several minor difficulties, and they will be back sometime next week to finalize the job. I understand that you do have other customers needing your attention, and I appreciate that it must be extremely tempting to consider my incident closed. However, I think you will agree that I’m not a typical Invacare user. In fact, the support model used by most large companies does not work well with me at all. Basically, I live and die by the technology I use, and I usually know the technology better than the first line support people I’m expected to talk to. In my case, it works better to have a fixed contact person who can develop a rapport with me and build a dynamic understanding of my needs as they relate to the company.

By way of illustrating the point, let me introduce Bernadete Padua-Mateo of Dell. While you surely understand how I depend on my wheelchair, I’m far more dependent on my Dell laptops because they are responsible for all of my various form of communication. I currently have four laptops, three of which are considered to be on active duty. Those three have all of at least the essential software I require, and are under Next Business Day service contracts. I paid a bit more for those service contracts, but they theoretically entitle me to on-site repair the next business day. Notice, however, that I said “theoretically.” Dell’s technical support system, like that of most consumer product companies, almost necessarily assumes the user is little more than a talking dummy. The call-takers, previously in Panama or New Deli, could never understand that I already diagnosed the problem and only needed specific parts dispatched. As a result, getting service could take two weeks or more. Only after a lot of rather public complaining, did upper Dell management recognize that I needed a fixed contact who knows me. Dedet, as she’s called, is the latest in the line. She calls herself my droid, but I correct her by saying she’s my guardian angel. Having Dedet assures that a contract tech really shows up with the needed parts NBD. I also use her on any Dell-related questions or when it’s time to replace a retiring machine. Although I believe Dedet is a little higher up in the food chain than normal Customer Service, I think you can see how assigned us together also is to Dell’s benefit. I hope Invacare doesn’t wait until it learns the hard way.

We used both the Mk6i PSR joystick and controller that were sent Thursday. Please don’t forget to get those Invacare prices for me.



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