Man says his scooter is dangerous, can't get help from company

Man says his scooter is dangerous, can't get help from company »Play Video
Bob Bennett says the scooter he got from The Scooter Store is dangerous and he can't get help from the company.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The federal government is investigating a company selling scooters for older or disabled people.

The allegation is The Scooter Store received millions of dollars in overpayments from Medicare.

And there are complaints from older customers who need the chairs to get around.

Bob Bennett, 81, of Southeast Portland says he got a chair from The Scooter Store at a cost of $3,000 with Medicare paying that bill. But he believes his chair is dangerous and says he can't get help from the company.

A chair from The Scooter Store seemed like a solution for Bennett because it would allow him a way to get to appointments without getting behind the wheel of a car. But the chair, he says, is not street-worthy.

"I'm scared of it," he says. "I don't want to run it until I can get a chair I can trust."

He says his first chair from The Scooter Store tipped over backwards. A second one, he says, "put me into the bush over here on the other side of our driveway" and suddenly turns on its own.

"It rolled right out the driveway. I let go of it. I had no control of it. I was just holding onto the handles, and I rolled backwards right out into the street with it. It didn't stop. The brakes didn't work," he says.

But The Scooter Store is no longer giving replacements. Bennett and other customers often experience long waits on hold when calling headquarters in Texas.

KATU News checked with the Better Business Bureau to see what kind of complaint history The Scooter Store has. It has 247 complaints. Some of them from people who say they have trouble getting replacement chairs when they need them.

The BBB rated the company a "B-plus," but the BBB accreditation has been revoked.

A man unlocking the door at the store's Wilsonville location said no one at the store could comment.

KATU News was able to finally get through to someone connected to The Scooter Store on Monday afternoon. She said that the goal is customer service.