Beware of Buena Vista

Richard Hackett

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
I was super excited when I called BUENA Vista scooter RENTALS to let them know I arrived at Disney World a day early and wanted to add a day to my scooter rental. They said none were available but called me a short time later to advise me someone didn’t pick theirs up and one was available. The scooter I received quickly began to show its age with numerous issues including batteries going from full to half just from driving on the Disney bus to Epcot. We reached Epcot around 5:00 pm and it started to get dark and some areas are very dimly lit. The scooter lacked a working headlight, turn signals or a working horn. It had a bike bell which was utterly ridiculous. The most frustrating and infuriating part about this scooter was the backrest that refused to stay upright. Since I suffer from severe spinal injury this was the most annoying.
My wife insisted I call to complain or get another scooter but both calls and messages left were never returned. I was determined to not let this issue ruin our vacation any more than it already had. These same problems continued throughout our stay that I returned the scooter early to the bellman. I was just so disgusted that if I had been able to walk I would have ditched it at Epcot. Worst experience ever.
 

kaytieeldr

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
Did you call that first night? Or did you call the next day, i.e. the first scheduled day of your rental? Since you were at Epcot, did you consider visiting their (albeit small) location on The Boardwalk for help? No ECVs there, but it's staffed into 10 or 11.

I can see them giving you whatever was available when you showed up early. I'm surprised, though, that they never, ever answered your calls or returned your messages the entire time you were there. And that you weren't ever able to get a replacement.

Now, not to upset you even more, but are you 100% positive that He'll Services accepted responsibility for the scooter and that they returned it to BVS?
 

Groot

Still recovering from the events of Endgame.
Joined
Aug 24, 2018
Last time I rented from Buena Vista, the scooter that they gave me was on its last legs. The seat was worn down, the tiller had issues with staying in the position that I wanted, and the battery didn’t even last a half day before it needed to be recharged. After that, next vacation, I looked at a different rental company whose scooters were NOT run down.
 
  • Christine

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 31, 1999
    We just returned from Disney about 10 days ago. My parents always rent with Apple, which has been perfect. My aunt was with us this time and she rented from BV. Closer to our trip, she changed from a regular ECV to a portable ECV. There was no issue (about 5 days before we departed for Disney).

    Both scooters were delivered flawlessly from both companies. Both looked in really good shape. My dad's scooter from Apple conked out the first night. He would accelerate and the power would totally drop. He recharged all night and the next morning, at a full charge, it drove 6 feet and conked out. He called Apple at about 8AM, got someone on the line immediately, and his ECV was replaced by about 10AM. Never had another issue. My aunt's ECV from BV was perfect the whole trip.

    Not trying to argue or anything, just want to highlight the different experiences you can get between companies. It does lead me to believe that the mobility companies aren't really checking the ECV conditions between each customer.
     

    Evita_W

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    Honestly, Gold Mobility is where we find the best quality (their ECVs are never more than 6 months old) and their customer service is incredible. They would have accommodated you coming in a day early without issue (the only time they might not be able to is of their delivery schedule is already fully booked and even then they would try to figure something out). Add in the free ponchos, bright blue with yellow reflective strips and undercarriage lights, batteries that literally last all day, cup holders, phone holder, fan and free accessory of most models and they can't be beat. Oh, and did I mention they are almost always less expensive than anyone else?

    And one more added bonus, they meet on your schedule, not some predetermined delivery window.
     

    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    All good points, @Evita_W; But most likely the OP booked this rental before October 1, so was grandfathered in to the drop off/pick up at Bell Services policy.
     

    Evita_W

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    All good points, @Evita_W; But most likely the OP booked this rental before October 1, so was grandfathered in to the drop off/pick up at Bell Services policy.
    No, they were saying they were using ScooterBug because they still can drop off with bell services, so I was offering a viable alternative.
     
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  • kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    No, they were saying they were using ScooterBug because they still can drop off with bell services, so I was offering a viable alternative.
    Sorry, I don't see Scooterbug mentioned. Is that in a different thread?
     

    Evita_W

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    Sorry, I don't see Scooterbug mentioned. Is that in a different thread?
    Yes, sorry mixed my threads up, my point on this thread was that Gold Mobility would have gladly accommodated the earlier request and their equipment would last all day without issue.
     

    Hopefully

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 3, 1999
    Yes, sorry mixed my threads up, my point on this thread was that Gold Mobility would have gladly accommodated the earlier request and their equipment would last all day without issue.
    How do you KNOW they could have? Do you work for Gold Mobility?
     

    Evita_W

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    Because I have used them and in fact have needed to do so in the past and even with the trip I am going on now I needed a day earlier and they always accommodate without issues.

    Last trip we extended a few days, not only did the accommodate, they didn't even charge extra for the extra days. Not saying they won't charge for extra days, just saying they didn't.

    They have customer service that is truly beyond compare.

    So, how do I KNOW they could have accommodated? Personal experience and experiences reported by others. There is a reason they get nothing but 5 star reviews on all sites.

    And no, I don't work for them and neither do the others that offer glowing reviews, seriously once you rent from them once, you are spoiled and won't rent anywhere else.
     
  • SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    Any company can have customers with good and bad reviews. l‘ve seen the same company listed as someone’s favorite and another person’s worst (sometimes even in the same week or some thread).

    And any customer could get a super new, good condition ECV or one that seems close to its last legs. The ECVs from all companies get hard use and parts, like batteries, may fail.

    During our recent trip, I saw ECVs from many companies - a mixture of companies, not any particular company with a larger number than any other company.
    I saw both scooters that looked brand new and ones that looked the worse for wear from ALL of the companies, (including Gold).

    Customer service is important to all companies. No company has a ‘captive audience’ as far as customers are concerned. It’s in their best interest to have good condition, well functioning equipment. If they slip up, there are numerous other companies ready to offer a similar service. All will slip up or have issues from time to time, but it’s in their best interest to correct things ASAP.

    If you have a problem with any company, let them know by email and phone, even if it’s after you leave. If you don’t get an answer/resolution, keep trying until you do.
     

    Evita_W

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    Gold Mobility quite literally replaces their entire fleet every 6 months, sorry but I have to disagree that other companies have the same level of customer service. I have used a few different companies now and none have the level that Gold Mobility does and they don't have a single review that has anything less than 5 stars. I know Buena Vista probably doesn't like people mentioning that or the issues they have with Buena Vista. But ultimately for me, it comes down to the fact that Gold Mobility scooters last all day in the parks (I haven't had one from any other company that could do that without charging during the day and theirs will only drop one light or so) and that they will meet me as I am getting off Magical Express, far more convenient than even using Bell Services was.

    And generally the only way you are going to see a bet up scooter from Gold is if the current user damaged it somehow. Seriously, on our last trip, we rented Maximas that were brand new (still had the protective film on them...lol) and because we weren't used to how wide they were, the arm rests were pretty.beat up by day 3, that was our fault, not Gold's and they weren't bothered by it, they just replaced the arm rests when we returned them. My guess is you may have seen something similar, but I can guarantee that their scooters lasted all day.

    You are right, no company has a captive audience and Gold understands this and goes out of their way to provide customer service that exceeds expectations. If you have never rented from them, it is hard to understand how they can be so much better than everyone else, but they are indeed that much better. You know everyone complains when something goes wrong, see the OP in this thread, but how many of us take the time to praise when things are done right? Yet people tend to give you a hard time when you are praising a company rather than bashing them.

    I have had issues with customer service at Buena Vista in the past that were major and they flat out refused to resolve, but rather than bash them, I prefer to keep it positive and praise the companies that do well. So when I find a company that goes so far above and beyond like Gold, I tend to praise them.

    And the closest you will find to a negative comment about Gold is that they don't deliver super late (like after 10 PM or before 7 AM) and they are working on a solution for that as well.
     
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    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    But ultimately for me, it comes down to the fact that Gold Mobility scooters last all day in the parks (I haven't had one from any other company that could do that without charging during the day and theirs will only drop one light or so)
    I have rented from Randy's and Walker multiple times, and Scooterama once, and never needed to recharge ever. And I spend a great deal of time in the parks, and travel between multiple parks in a day (including riding the scooter from THE to Epcot) and resorts
     

    Hopefully

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 3, 1999
    I have rented from Walker Mobility and BuenaVista in the past. I NEVER had to recharge my battery duri the day with either company. I have had exemplary customer service with both.
    I appreciate @SueM in MN non biased comments.
     

    RaySharpton

    Retired and going to Disney.
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2000
    I remember when I was a newbie with renting and then buying my own mobility scooter over a decade ago when asking the DISboards DISability Forum for help.

    I didn't always recharge my mobility scooter completely every night when I would use it all day. I think that it was because I came in late at night and restarted early the next morning and not being able to charge it for 12-hours and I attribute that to being my fault.

    I can't remember that far back when I used to rent from several different vendors if I received a mobility scooter that wasn't fully charged. I didn't really know what to look for.

    I remember WDW rental mobility scooters running out of power a couple of times, but the Disney cast member would come all the way out with another one and take the other one back to recharge.

    I did have an unusual experience with my own mobility scooter when I was at WDW over a decade ago.

    I thought that when the needle said fully charged that I was good to go.

    But each succeeding day, even though I plugged my mobility scooter in when I entered my resort room for the night and recharged it until I was ready to leave, my mobility scooter still wouldn't make it all day.

    The power gauge showed fully recharged before leaving my resort room.

    After about three years one day, I left my resort room fully charged. Later in the afternoon, it when from 3/4 full during the day at MK park to zero charge. I very slowly drove back to my room and most of the time I made it back. I think a couple of days I had to push it or someone pushed it for me. Bless them. I went back to my resort room and called it a day and recharged it again.

    But then the same thing kept happening in the next couple of days.

    One day it just dropped all of a sudden until my mobility scooter stopped completely with no power. I didn't notice the power gauge. I guess I was having too much fun.

    I was glad that I started taking my charger with me just in case.

    That particular day, I sat near the MK merry-go-round and plugged it in for about an hour and I barely made it back to my resort room.

    I called Buena Vista Scooters and they said that even though my mobility scooter said that it was fully charged in the morning after charging, it only meant that the non dead parts of the batteries that were fully charged.

    He said my batteries were 75% dead and could not charge.

    So he said I was charging only 25% of the batteries that were still working.

    Over that week, I also noticed that it took less and less time that my mobility scooter gauge to say it was fully charged. I thought cool, but the reason what it was only charging 25% of my batteries.

    He said that it was correct.

    It took less time to fully charge on 25% of the working batteries.

    I had no idea because I was new to owning my own mobility scooter.

    For some reason, I was thinking that the battery meter gauge would show only 25% charged instead of 100% fully charged.

    Now that I think about it, I was pretty dumb.

    So, I guess if you happen to notice that your mobility scooter does the same thing that it might mean your mobility scooter's batteries are at the end of their life.

    I was lucky Buena Vista was able to take my mobility scooter and change out the two old batteries for two new batteries without me having to take my batteries off-site.

    If you are a newbie, I would also suggest not turning the power knob all of the up to maximum. You can use the tiller accelerator pull lever to go in reverse and forward, but leaving it in maximum power over time will decrease the amount of time your battery will last. Whether it is a mobility scooter or now, my wheelchair, I try and set a power level equivalent to the walking speed of those around me. I can still slow down with my joystick or the mobility scooter's tiller pull lever.

    And when I enter a crowded situation or boarding a bus, I turn the power lever down much lower just in case I hit my joystick and speed up. I don't want to scare anyone by lunging forward accidentally. That is the main reason to turn down the power lever in crowded areas. Not to accidentally lunging forward. Keeping the power lever at the appropriate level is my safety issue and it can add time to the time the battery lasts. I have tested this many times and even though I may not speed up and go full power all of the time like in wide-open areas, my battery did a couple of hours per the battery gauge staying out all day. I hope that makes sense in the way I described it.

    Just a thought if this happens to you some time.

    My electric wheelchair has Lithium-Ion batteries now and I'll see how long they last and if they do the same thing when the batteries reach their end of life.


    Any company can have customers with good and bad reviews. I've seen the same company listed as someone’s favorite and another person’s worst (sometimes even in the same week or some thread).

    And any customer could get a super new, good condition ECV or one that seems close to its last legs. The ECVs from all companies get hard use and parts, like batteries, may fail.

    During our recent trip, I saw ECVs from many companies - a mixture of companies, not any particular company with a larger number than any other company.
    I saw both scooters that looked brand new and ones that looked the worse for wear from ALL of the companies, (including Gold).

    Customer service is important to all companies. No company has a ‘captive audience’ as far as customers are concerned. It’s in their best interest to have a good condition, well-functioning equipment. If they slip up, there are numerous other companies ready to offer a similar service. All will slip up or have issues from time to time, but it’s in their best interest to correct things ASAP.

    If you have a problem with any company, let them know by email and phone, even if it’s after you leave. If you don’t get an answer/resolution, keep trying until you do.
    Thanks, Sue and I agree.

    Gold Mobility quite literally replaces their entire fleet every 6 months, sorry but I have to disagree that other companies have the same level of customer service. I have used a few different companies now and none have the level that Gold Mobility does and they don't have a single review that has anything less than 5 stars. I know Buena Vista probably doesn't like people mentioning that or the issues they have with Buena Vista. But ultimately for me, it comes down to the fact that Gold Mobility scooters last all day in the parks (I haven't had one from any other company that could do that without charging during the day and theirs will only drop one light or so) and that they will meet me as I am getting off Magical Express, far more convenient than even using Bell Services was.

    And generally, the only way you are going to see a bet up the scooter from Gold is if the current user damaged it somehow. Seriously, on our last trip, we rented Maximas that were brand new (still had the protective film on them...lol) and because we weren't used to how wide they were, the armrests were pretty.beat up by day 3, that was our fault, not Gold's and they weren't bothered by it, they just replaced the armrests when we returned them. My guess is you may have seen something similar, but I can guarantee that their scooters lasted all day.

    You are right, no company has a captive audience and Gold understands this and goes out of their way to provide customer service that exceeds expectations. If you have never rented from them, it is hard to understand how they can be so much better than everyone else, but they are indeed that much better. You know everyone complains when something goes wrong, see the OP in this thread, but how many of us take the time to praise when things are done right? Yet people tend to give you a hard time when you are praising a company rather than bashing them.

    I have had issues with customer service at Buena Vista in the past that were major and they flat out refused to resolve, but rather than bash them, I prefer to keep it positive and praise the companies that do well. So when I find a company that goes so far above and beyond like Gold, I tend to praise them.

    And the closest you will find to a negative comment about Gold is that they don't deliver super late (like after 10 PM or before 7 AM) and they are working on a solution for that as well.
    Evita_W, I agree. I have never rented anything from Gold, but I do a lot of research and I don't know of another company that buys and then sells their mobility scooters every 6-months. Practically guaranteeing a new mobility scooter each time rented. I don't know how long other vendors keep their mobility scooters before getting rid of them, but I know batteries do not die after only 6-months either.

    I may be wrong, and you can correct me if I am wrong, but I haven't found any other Orlando vendors that do that.

    Plus I think that Gold was the first to offer so many other extras in their rental prices that some of the other vendors would charge for.

    I mean it is a vendor business and all businesses need to make money and I understand that, but Gold really upped the bar when they came around a couple of years ago as a newbie vendor.


    I have rented from Randy's and Walker multiple times, and Scooterama once, and never needed to recharge ever. And I spend a great deal of time in the parks, and travel between multiple parks in a day (including riding the scooter from THE to Epcot) and resorts
    I agree, me too. I think my very first vendor rental was from Randy's from this board's recommendations over a decade ago.

    I have rented from Walker Mobility and BuenaVista in the past. I NEVER had to recharge my battery duri the day with either company. I have had exemplary customer service with both.
    I appreciate @SueM in MN non biased comments.
    Okay.

    How do you KNOW they could have? Do you work for Gold Mobility?
    Okay.


    .
     
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    Evita_W

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2007
    Ray, exactly, the batteries do not die after only 6 months. In addition to having upgraded batteries on all of their scooters (which some other companies are starting to do now as well), Gold is the only mobility company I know that took the time to research and find upgraded chargers that completely recharge the scooters on about half the time of what standard chargers take to charge the smaller batteries. Of course, it is hard for me to tell exactly how long that would be for sure, as the batteries don't ever get down to empty, really rarely below 75% of a charge and never under 50% for us. I have noticed on this trip that it seems the other companies are now trying to do a better job of making their scooters at least look new. Seriously, last trip many from other companies had giant holes in them, pieces missing completely, etc. But none of them seem to have the cell phone holder, cup holders and fan that Gold Mobility offers and the fan is a life saver come midday.
     

    Starwind

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2014
    For some reason, I was thinking that the battery meter gauge would show only 25% charged instead of 100% fully charged.

    Now that I think about it, I was pretty dumb.
    NOT dumb. A mismatch between the human expectation and the device design, in this case the "battery charge level" sensor and its display. But I think the human expectation is a reasonable one and the sensor/display a design flaw -- though perhaps an unavoidable one with the current state of technology.

    SW
     


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