Monday, November 17, 2008

Question from a reader

Logan wrote...

Hi Shannon, I'm interested in buying a used iBOT. Any tips or things to look out for? (I had a test drive a couple of years ago.) Is there an iBOT owners forum out there?

The only thing I'm afraid of is that I get enough attention with my service dog. Add an iBOT and I'll never be able to get things done!

I say....

I'm sorry I did not respond in a more timely matter. Things have been busy around here. So... you have an opportunity to buy a used iBOT? That's fabulous! I would suggest that you have a rep from IT look it over before buying it. Mine was practically new, but I don't know the circumstances around the one you are interested in. Be aware that the warranty is not transferable. But also be aware that in the year+ that I've had my used iBOT, the lack of warranty has not been a problem for me.

IBOT owners forum... I know there was one but now I cannot find it. I looked through my bookmarks, and I did a google search and I cannot find it. When I have more time, I'll do a bit more digging and hopefully find it. Or, if anyone reading this knows the website, please leave a comment.

About the attention the iBOT draws... A few years back (this was before I got my iBOT) I was training my dog to be a service dog. He did great, but I stopped using him because I couldn't handle all the attention. People are interested in the iBOT, and you definitely will get lots of people asking questions, but I've found that if I'm in a hurry or not in the mood to talk to anyone, I just look straight ahead and keep on going. I have had some people run after me to ask about it, but not often. The other thing you can do is put it in Standard Function. People think it is just a regular power chair when it's in Standard. I think I've only had one person ask me about when I was in Standard, and he knew it by name and was somewhat familiar with them, but had never seen one in real life before.

I had a much harder time getting things done when I had my dog with me than I do with the iBOT. So many people stopped me to ask if they could pet my dog, but no one has asked to pet my iBOT! Dog lovers obviously find it extremely difficult to see a friendly dog and not pet him/her (which is understandable), but people seem satisfied to just look (stare) at the iBOT.

I've also noticed quite a difference in the number of people asking me about it now than a year ago. I think this is for a few reasons. One reason is that more and more people are seeing them. I think IT has been advertising because in the past few months I've had quite a few people say that they saw it on TV. Also, I tend to go to the same grocery store, library, etc, and so I know lots of people have seen me before. If I'm in a checkout line or something where I'm not on the go, I've had lots of people who are in line also tell me that they've seen me around before. And finally, I think I've perfected the art of "Don't talk to me, I'm busy".

The questions really don't bother me. If I am in a hurry, I go in Standard. I can go faster in Standard, plus people think it's just a regular power chair. Not long ago my daughter and I were at the grocery store and we were in a hurry. I was in Balance Function, because that is where I like to be, and we had stopped at the deli. As my daughter was quietly saying to me, "Maybe you should go down so no one asks you about it", a man asked me about it. He literally interrupted her sentence to ask me a question. I found it humorous, but my daughter was a bit irritated. I'm usually a very friendly person, and I'm happy to answer questions, but if you are a person who does not like questions, being in Balance Function would definitely be an issue. Oh, also, before I got my iBOT, I had people ask me why I'm in a wheelchair. Since I've had the iBOT, no one has. It's quite nice! Although I understand people's curiosity, I think it's quite rude for a complete stranger to ask such a personal question. "How come you're all crippled up?" is a bit stabbing, whereas, "That is an awesome chair!", or "How does it balance like that", does not bother me.

I hope what I've written helps. Feel free to ask any other questions. And let me know if you get it and how you like it!

Edited to add: One more thing about the attention a service dog and an iBOT draws. Although I definitely understand people wanting to pet a service dog, I think they should know better. Therefore, I was always somewhat perturbed when someone asked to pet him. I don't feel that way with the iBOT. I guess I would never ask to pet someone's service dog, and I would never ask a person why they were in a wheelchair, but I might ask someone a question or two if they had a super cool wheelchair. : )


Anonymous said...

Did you hear that IT is going out of business???

Shannon said...

No. I hope this is not true.