Planning a trip can be a time- and energy-consuming undertaking for anyone. But when mobility is a factor, it can be all the more challenging. And even with the most careful groundwork laid, accessible travel plans can go wrong. Perhaps your wheelchair’s missing when you arrive in New York, or you find that you can’t maneuver in the allegedly accessible time share unit where you’ve planned to stay.
Although it’s easy to lose your temper and settle into a bad mood for the rest of your vacation, it’s a better idea to handle what you can at the time the problem arises and let the rest go until you get back home — while promising yourself to enjoy the rest of your time.
Handling the problem right away
Whenever possible, try to resolve the problem in person and right away. Be polite, friendly and considerate, keeping your cool at all costs. If the person with whom you’re dealing can’t resolve the problem, ask to speak to the manager. Mention any financial repercussions you’re experiencing. Many businesses are eager to rectify the situation. The Ritz-Carlton hotel chain, for example, considers a customer complaint an opportunity, as an unhappy customer whose grievance is graciously resolved is likely to become a loyal customer.
Resolving the situation when you get home
Once you’re back home, put your grievance in writing instead of trying to resolve the problem over the phone. Many times the person at the other end isn’t in a position to rectify the problem. He may not even have a vested interest in making you happy. Find out who’s in charge, and write a letter to that person. Keep it polite. Some people who are experienced at doing this sort of thing say a sense of humor can help to defuse the situation. The server spilled a glass of merlot over your new shirt? Well, red has always been your color, but not that particular shade.
The American with Disabilities Act specifies that U.S. businesses must be architecturally accessible. If you find that you are unable to get into and explore any building, you should write the business a letter expressing your disappointment and notify the Department of Justice. By putting this in writing, you can help to prevent the same thing from happening to others.
If you’re planning a vacation and have accessibility concerns, consider contacting a retailer in that city that specializes in mobility equipment. Staff members are likely to have excellent ideas about sights to see, places to stay and restaurants to patronize. Headquartered in Phoenix, Power Mobility and Lifts provides information and mobility equipment to clients throughout Arizona. If you have any questions, give us a call.
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