Don't rent a Whill Ci from Scootaround unless you have very specific requests promised in writing..

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by Chickenlady, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Chickenlady

    Chickenlady Mouseketeer

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    even then be very wary. I had arranged to rent a Whill Ci from Scootaround in Las Vegas after hearing all the great talk here on the DIS boards. When I went to Scootaround I found the Whill Ci price to only be very slightly more than a regular scooter for the week I needed. Great! Then I called. Apparently, since it is a more expensive scooter, you MUST pay for the most expensive insurance ($10/day), that significantly bumps up the price. Okay, but I'm covered for everything, right? Nope, even with the insurance if the unit is stolen, I would still owe several hundred dollars..this is important later in the story. I decided the compact size and light weight would out weigh the extra money in Vegas, so I did rent the Whill Ci. When the gentleman came to deliver and show me how to work the unit. I asked where the key was. He was surprised the it didn't have a key..every other unit he had delivered had a key, so it could be locked and not stolen. He promised to check at the warehouse that afternoon and bring one back for me or would have his supervisor arrange to bring it to me the next day. I never heard from him or his supervisor again. The next day I called the rental hotline only to be told the delivery man was wrong. Whill Cis no long come with keys because too many people were losing the key fobs and they were expensive. I told them I was told it came with a key so that I could secure it to keep it from being stolen and I was not going to accept a change in the agreement without prior knowledge. The person told me that there was nothing they could do and since it was a holiday (12/23) someone from corporate headquarters wouldn't get back to me until Dec. 26th. I said fine, I'm not happy and I will not be responsible for any cash outlay if this unit is stolen because I can't lock it. The corporate office never called me back. I will try to call them after New Years to resolve this and the fact that because is was a rental, I was unable to use the bluetooth remote functions of the unit, as I didn't have the original password and set up user name. Scootaround seems to have terrible, dishonest service. I did love the Whill Ci but know that without the locking mechanism, I could never rent one for WDW. At least I could keep one eye on the unit at all times in Vegas, but you can't take it with you on the WDW rides.
     
  2. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

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    Is it possible that the "no fob/no key" rule was a local Las Vegas rule? It would be interesting to know if Scootaround in Orlando was following that same policy.
     
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  4. Chickenlady

    Chickenlady Mouseketeer

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    It is possible that it is a Las Vegas rule only but the man on the phone gave me the impression that it was nationwide. All I know is that when I rented the unit in Oct. the unit was able to be locked, when I got it in Dec., no key...Scootaround new policy. Don't see how that would work at all at WDW. I am so bummed I wanted a Whill Ci for our next WDW trip....I would tape a cup holder to the handle though.
     
  5. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

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    I own my Whill Ci - but I did not purchase the key fob. My demo came directly from a Whill employee who was in town setting up a dealership for New Orleans. The Whill rep told me that I really didn't need one because of the phone app. And I haven't needed it at all.

    I think I'm the first or one of the first who posted here about the Whill Ci being available for rental. I hate hearing that Scootaround has been so awful to deal with. I personally would not rent one without being assured that the phone app was available. I use the app a lot. But I've never locked mine as I cannot walk unassisted so there is no leaving the Whill while I go do something. I can walk some with a walker, but I don't carry a walker around with me when using my Whill.

    And if people are losing the fobs, I don't understand why they couldn't put a pretty high security deposit on the fob - fully refundable if you return it. A $100 refundable deposit should discourage people from walking off with a $60 fob.

    I haven't bought a cup holder yet but the Whill rep told me that the pole that the basket hooks onto is the same size as a standard bicycle part and to go to a bike shop and buy a bike cup holder.
     
  6. Chickenlady

    Chickenlady Mouseketeer

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    Thanks Arminnie! I didn't realize that there was already a place to put the cup holder....figured there might be, but I didn't see it. The service person I spoke with told me that the key fob cost $300, that's why they stopped giving them out to rentals. I too didn't understand why they didn't just charge people who lost them. I know if I knew I was going to be charge for it...I would hang on to it for dear life. And it is way easier to guard a key that to guard an entire scooter, if you are not tied to it all the time. It was pretty silly in some of the older places in Vegas to have my husband guard the scooter while I used the restroom. I also really missed the phone app. I have a habit of moving a few seats away while playing video poker, then over the course of an hour of so, I ended up pretty far away from the scooter. I could still see it but it was difficult to get back to it.
     
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  7. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

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    Just to chime in. If I were going to steal a power chair, it would definitely be a Whill Ci. It's small and has a free-wheel release. I'm away from my shop and have never even thought to try this, but locking a Whill simply prevents the motor control from operating. I don't recall any aspect of the locking feature that prevents one from pulling the brake release levers and pushing the chair away. Is there? I'll look next week, when I get home.

    Even so, I would say that the WDW parks have a much lower risk of theft than Las Vegas. Someone would have to pay for entry into the park in hopes that a premium power chair is left unattended long enough for them to take it. They would know that they would have to get the chair completely off property before it goes missing. And... they would know that they would be under surveillance the entire time.
     
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  8. Chickenlady

    Chickenlady Mouseketeer

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    I'm used to renting EVCs and that's who the Scootaround people are aiming their rentals of Whill Cis at....regular ECV renters. The Whill Ci is much lighter and more compact, much easier to put in a rental car. Plus, you don't have to own one at home to rent one. All ECVs have keys that prevent starting the motor and all have free-wheel release. The free-wheel release is used very often by CM to move the units from loading to unloading positions. I wasn't comparing the Whill Ci to other electric wheelchairs (it is much, much cheaper than other electric wheelchairs, only slightly more than some ECVs) but to other ECVs. Most ECV people can transfer and would leave the Whill Ci unattended for a good length of time while on a ride. With the motor LOCKED, someone would have to push the Whill Ci all the way out of the park and that would be very difficult....does the mouse-like control even work for steering without the power on? Normal ECVs can and are pushed around very frequently and easily steered. I was just appalled that such an expensive piece of equipment that had a key, would be rented out without the key... they don't do that with their regular ECVs. Theft in WDW would be much easier because of the amount of time a person would leave the chair unattended. Lots of people might leave the Whill Ci in scooter parking while on a ride for 30 -40 min, including wait time. Also, I beg to differ with the height of security being higher in WDW. You can't pick your nose in Las Vegas without 5 cameras recording it...there are more cameras there than people...not that I've been recorded doing that.

    Also as an update. A representative from Scootaround told me when I called after vacation that since I was not give the promised key or access to the bluetooth control and that management never returned my phone calls, they would put in for a partial refund for me......that was almost 2 weeks ago. I was told 7 - 10 days....still waiting. Not liking Scootaround.
     
  9. SteveMouse

    SteveMouse DIS Veteran

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    Powerchairs generally do not have keys. I wish they did.
     
  10. Chickenlady

    Chickenlady Mouseketeer

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    The Whill Ci is sold with a key to lock the motor...great since it is more of an ECV than an electric wheel chair (lower price, no custom settings, no adjustments, other than right or left hand) and ECV drivers are typically able to transfer and need to lock the unit. That's the reason I was so mad, it comes with the key and the key and bluetooth capability were described in the Scootaround rental brochure but were not included at the drop off and even the delivery person had no idea why. He said that he always dropped off keys with those units before.
     
  11. DisneyOma

    DisneyOma DIS Veteran

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    People used to go into WDW to steal high end strollers, and while there are a lot more of them than there are ECVs, it's still possible someone would target an ECV. It just takes planning.
     
  12. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

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    I wonder if the lack of key did not seem like a critical issue to the delivery because the same functionality is available through the phone connection. That you were not able to utilize the phone connection features is the real problem, had that been remedied it would have rendered the lack of key fob moot.

    Casinos are notoriously camera heavy, but you may be underestimating how many cameras are present within the WDW properties. While doing a bit of casual 'wifi stumbling*' within most of the 100 meter square sections I tested, in the parks, disney springs, and resorts, I could find at least 2 wireless access points designed to connect to security cameras. Each access point can conceivably handle the connection of a dozen or more cameras. Wireless cameras are only used when a wired connection to that location isn't possible. I would be shocked if there are too many placed in WDW that would let you stand there without at least 5 cameras recording you.

    But the comparison isn't so much about the level of surveillance. WDW, the parks at least, have some steep barriers to entry. Someone planning a high end ECV heist at the parks would need to pay for entry and parking first. Sure, it's less than the $4k for a Whill Ci, but chances of hitting paydirt and getting a Whill are not really something you can plan for.

    Then there is the distance involved. A ride or attraction that holds you captive for that 30-40 mins is going to be a ways inside the park. How do they know you will be gone that long? Maybe they follow you a while to stake out the machine then strike as soon as you leave the Ci and get in line. Now they have to drive the chair all the way to the gate before you leave the ride and notice your chair is gone; because as soon as you do you're going to tell someone and in very little time they will let security at the park entrance know to stop anyone pushing a powerchair. Are they sure you'll be away long enough? Did you have a fastpass? Even if they make it past the gate, they still have to get it out to their car. That's a lot of risk.

    The front wheels on the Ci roll 'free' and steering is a function of drive from the motors. With the motors released from the rear wheels there is nothing to stop the chair from turning. A person can be pushed in a Ci with the motor released. Yes, it would be much easier to steel if it's left unlocked, but it's along the same lines as cutting your chances of getting struck by lightning in half, it's a great idea on paper but in reality it's just not really worth worrying about.

    I thought about this. The main difference is that high end strollers are considered so because they fold up very small and are extremely light. They are also far more valuable for the risk involved.
    • A Mima stroller retails for $1500, weighs 30lbs, and can be stuffed into a big diaper bag or backpack or even stuffed into a different stroller to provide cover for your exit of the park. Then you can take that stroller and sell it on craigslist for $1k because ... well it's a stroller and there isn't much to go wrong on them.
    • A Whill Ci retails for $4k, weighs 115lbs and must be marched out in full view. Once you get it home you might get $500 for it because you will only sell it to buyers who don't care if it's stolen. Each Whill has a unique serial number engraved on the chassis and motors. It's radio chip has a unique device address hard coded into it at the factory and recoded at the time of sale. No one will pay much more than that for a Whill Ci that they cannot get warranty service on.
    My point isn't that a Whill, or any other ecv, couldn't possibly get stolen from the WDW parks. Given enough time and enough people, anything is possible. But it's going to take an Oceans 11 like effort on the part of the thieves and at that point we're talking about thieves smart enough to steal something better.

    Put another way... my friend's last power chair retails for about $10k. We never thought twice about leaving her chair parked in WDW for large portions of the day. She's now in one of my new Whill Cis I just bought and ... maybe it's a little easier to steel for being a little lighter, but we're still not worrying about it.

    * - wifi stumbling is, simply, mapping out what wireless signals are present along a walking route. I have a particular interest in the hardware and network infrastructure Disney uses for its magic band system so I keep an eye on the size and 'shape' of their radio networks.
     
  13. Chickenlady

    Chickenlady Mouseketeer

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    This would be the basic problem...without the key fob or the bluetooth connection to secure the Whill Ci, they don't have to push it. They can sit down and ride out like they own it! It took me about 30 seconds to master the Whill Ci control. Previous posters on the DisABILITIES board have said that normal electric wheelchairs are difficult to master with their steering and speed control, which helps make them technically more secure against theft by random thieves....I've never tried one but I'm not exactly very comfortable with electronic controls of any sort. The Whill Ci without any locking mechanism is easy pickings....and the required Scootaround extra special insurance (because the Whill Ci is high cost) still leaves the customer minus $300 in case of theft. Not a good combo in my mind.
     
  14. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

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    As I cannot walk and never leave my chair when out I am not worried at all about it being stolen while unattended.

    But I live in New Orleans which unfortunately has a very high crime rate. There's a murder within a mile or two of my home (and I live on St. Charles Avenue in a very upscale area) at least monthly if not weekly.

    My concern would be someone dumping me out of my chair and leaving me - except that there are only two Whills that have been sold in the city to date. Most of these crooks are pretty stupid. I am sure they have no idea what the device is, how one would move it or what it is worth. They might be motivated to steal a scooter for grandma - but I doubt if the Whill would be much of a target.
     
  15. serenitynow

    serenitynow DIS Veteran

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    Is there an easy way to disconnect the cable between the Whill Ci battery and the chair? That would prevent someone from just sitting down and driving it away. Or at least slow them down if they cannot detect that the cord has been unplugged.
     
  16. Chickenlady

    Chickenlady Mouseketeer

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    Not that I saw. The only thing I could have done was to remove the entire (heavy) battery and carry that with me.....not something I was willing to do. Good thought.
     
  17. serenitynow

    serenitynow DIS Veteran

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    That stinks.
     

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