Sunday, April 17, 2016

Stroke Survival Sunday:What Do You About Inaccessibility?

(Shockingly, this blog is going on without picture for the next couple of weeks due to a computer crash and having to borrow one to write this blog)

Accessibility is a big issue with me. What do you do when faced with an accessibility issue? Most times I make do. Sometimes, I complain to management. But more often than not, I'll just refuse to do business with that company and go to a competitor.

For the first one, you know me, I'll trudge on and get what I need. I may not pick up everything in one trip...just the essentials. Here comes the problem with this since my move. Overachiever me, will cause an ugly blister on my braced foot. You know the bane of my AFO and the precursor to yet another decubitous ulcer on the bottom and side of my foot. This has happened quite often since my move to my mountain side homestead especially with big stores like Lowes and Walmart. Yes, this tiny blink-and-you've-missed-it township has those too. Yes, you say, but they have to daredevil wheelie carts for handicapped and morbidly overweight  people. I'll agree with you there, but with any big box store it's finding one unoccupied that's the problem...even here.

In the larger stores, I'll complain to management. I'll hear the usual apology for the lack of carts, but the issue still stands. I can either sit and wait until one  comes available or make due. Even handicapable people have things to do besides waiting on a cart. I usually have a huge list of ten to twenty things on the homestead to-do list every day. Most days, the list has an alternate "rainy day" to-do things on it too. There is wool to spin, rabbits to groom, seeds to start in the greenhouse, and a menagerie of animals to care for. You get the idea. Instead, I'm sitting on a bench waiting for a wheelie thingy. Meanwhile, baggers are scurrying around trying to find me a cart. I'll only wait for  so long before I'll grab a few essentials or walk out of the store.

In the smaller stores, they just don't have carts. So I'm squeezing my way through boxed lined smaller aisles. When you have an arm that really doesn't move, it catches on everything and pulls items off the shelves. I feel obligated to stop and replace them back onto their proper places. Unless they roll under the shelving unit. All courtesy is gone out the window when that happens. Who loses when this happens? We both do. I can't get all I needed to buy and they don't get my money.

When I walk out of a store that's a very bad thing. It's my absolute last thing I do because in a small town like this, there are no competitors. When a customer would rather shop in a neighboring county because of noncompliance or limited compliance, this business is in trouble. While I haven't had issues yet with this, I know it's only a matter of time. The business licensing agency is my first stop. Then my voice and reach go farther.

 I'll blog and use social media. The old marketing adage about one person telling ten people and each of those telling ten more people each no longer applies. The number of people is greatly increased by the internet. For example, on any given Sunday, this blog will average over 300 hits. That's an  impact point because we all share what we read. Just use the same equation as the old adage. Three hundred readers retelling the story to three hundred of those they share with each. Carry that equation farther two times and that's a MAJOR hit on  a business. What business could afford that much bad press for a bad experience or experiences?

Gone are the days when a business can ignore the clout/impacts of a dissatisfied customer. It is now a time of caveat venditor...let the seller beware.



3 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

With social media, we can spread the word fast now.
Sorry you have to wait for a cart. Half the time when I see someone on one of those carts, they aren't handicapped - they're just big. And that's a handicap that can be prevented.

Barb Polan said...

How awful to be stuck in that position. Before I had knee surgery, I could walk a long way, and never found a store that was too big. But we don't have box stores on Cape Ann, so my husband and I virtually never drive the half-hour to get there. We have a local building center that serves 2 purposes - supporting local business and they'll order what they don't have.

As far as accessibility goes for me now, my problem is using a bathroom with a standard-height toilet. If it's got a grab bar, it's considered accessible, but now, unless that bar is horizontal, I can't stand up. So, since knee surgery, I just don't go out.

One exception was last night - we went to an art opening with some friends. It was a tiny place, and fortunately had a small single-person restroom, so Tom could've gone in with me; but it had a horizontal bar, so he didn't have to. Which means I will frequent the place in the future.

I love that you explain/complain to management. I just don't bother. And, as far as communicating online about an experience, it doesn't count if you don't say where you had the problem - what places should we avoid?

Zan Marie said...

{{{{hugs}}}} Jo, this is so frustrating! Take care and rest.