My new travel scooter!
I bought a new travel scooter today! It's a brand new model called the Amigo TravelMate III.
You can see a brief video here demonstrating how it folds down.
I use a more heavy-duty model for everyday use, but I do often need something more portable, that can be folded up and put in a car trunk, or used on trips away from home.
It's been a long and frustrating seven weeks since I first saw this scooter on the Amigo web site in the first week of May. They had just introduced this new model that same week, believe it or not, so no one here at my local shop had ever seen one before. From the first time I saw a description of it, it sounded like exactly what I've been looking for, an ultra-lightweight portable travel scooter as a replacement for the 15-year-old Amigo model I'd been using as a spare (pictured here), which they no longer make parts for.
They sent out a demo model of the TravelMate III for me to try out on May 27. Unfortunately, it turned out that unit was defective; it was almost impossible to fold down the handle (something that's supposed to be very easy to do) and a part actually fell out of the scooter while we were looking at it (!) I was, naturally, disappointed, but not by any means ready to give up on this scooter.
Three weeks later (June 15), I got an email from the local shop. "Amigo says they can't ship any more demo models. They are filling orders for this new model and shipping them out to customers as fast as they can build them, and they have none to spare." I was told it might be weeks, or months, before I could get another one to try. Unwilling to take "no" for an answer, I called the manufacturer in Michigan, and eventually got through to someone who was both sympathetic and very helpful.
I started off the conversation by saying, "I've been using Amigo scooters for 30 years (since 1980). I'd love to give you the business. Is there any way you can help me?" I told him that I didn't think it was right that I should be penalized by being "sent to the back of the line", so to speak, when the original scooter they sent out turned out to be defective.
He said, "I agree, but you had ordered a red one, and the only one we have available to ship out at the moment is blue."
"Blue is good. I drive a blue car! I like blue."
"We can have it on a truck to you tomorrow morning." And he promised to test it personally before it shipped out, to make sure it was working properly.
My persistence paid off, big time! Yesterday I got a call that the scooter had arrived at the local shop. We went in to pick it up today. Everything worked beautifully! I'm so excited, and relieved, to have got it home at last! Now I need to spend a few days figuring out all its little idiosyncrasies. The controls are somewhat different than I'm used to (there is a switch you have to push to go from forward to reverse, for example) but I'm already getting the hang of it.
It folds up into a very compact little package, weighing only 53 pounds without the battery, and I don't anticipate any trouble flying with it.
I'm exhausted but very happy (not to mention relieved!) this evening, and looking forward to trying out the new scooter as much as possible in the coming days.
UPDATE 6/23/2011 6:27 pm: I got a nice email today from Drew, the Amigo rep who shipped the scooter out to me: "I’m glad we were able to fix this situation for you." What a great example of customer service!