ABILITY CENTER JOINS CRYTICO AS PLATINUM DEALER

San Diego, CA and Tea, SD – December 30, 2014 – Crytico, LLC announced today their partnership with Ability Center with the objective to bring transparency to the mobility industry and giving customers the power of choice.  Ability Center’s multiple locations are listed on Crytico.com for current customers to write reviews on their satisfaction as well as invite new customers to read those reviews.

Crytico.com was launched in September, 2014 and is the first website of its kind in the mobility industry.  The website is 100% focused on products and services for people who have mobility issues.  Consumers can learn about products they may need, like wheelchairs, scooters, home stair lifts, etc. and also read reviews on what their peers think about those products.  Consumers can also register with Crytico to write reviews on products they may own or use.  Each reviewer on the website is authenticated for validity.

“In our industry, people buy these products because they need them,” said Chad Blake, Ability Center’s Director of Store Sales and Operations.   “The biggest part of our job is educating the consumer about what the applicable mobility products are and what the specific product can do to make the consumer’s situation better.   Crytico is first and foremost a quality educational tool that allows consumers to exchange thoughts and feedback about all facets of the mobility industry.  Ability Center is supportive and excited about the Crytico platform and direction.”

Ability Center

“Having partners like Ability Center is an asset to Crytico and our users,” said Monique McGivney a mobility advisor with Crytico.  “Ability Center assisted with our pilot program which was an integral phase of Crytico.com.  From the very beginning, they understood and embraced the concept of a review website for their current and future customers. They want to stand out from their competition and are confident they will do that on Crytico.com   What better way than to have their customers tell their story?”

In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for reviews on mobility products and services.  Until now, there has been no medium in the mobility industry for consumers to read peer reviews. Crytico.com is not just a review site; consumers can also learn about other products and providers they may not know exist.  With over 4000 different types of mobility products and over 2000 providers who sell those products, consumers can now visit one website vs. sifting through dozens of websites to get all the information they need.

About Ability Center

Ability Center was founded in 1984, and currently has multiple locations in California, Nevada and Arizona.  Today, Ability Center provides benefits for more than 10,000 people with mobility challenges per year; offering compassion, knowledge and understanding.  For more information visit, www.abilitycenter.com.

About Crytico

Crytico.com was created by industry experts who have worked in the mobility product arena for several decades, recognizing a void of opinions on products and services customers purchase. Crytico.com is the first and only premier review site that is 100% dedicated to mobility products and services mobility dealers provide. For more information contact Monique@crytico.com.

B&D INDEPENDENCE JOINS CRYTICO AS PLATINUM PARTNER

Tea, SD and Mount Carmel, IL – December 23, 2014 – Crytico, LLC announced today their partnership with B&D Independence which will strengthen both companies by providing a medium for consumers of B&D transfer seat bases to rate and review their products. B&D Independence and Crytico have a shared interest in empowering customers and providing quality products and services.

transfer seat, b&d,

B&D Transfer Seat Base

Crytico.com is a review website solely focused on products and services for people with mobility issues.  Consumers who have purchased mobility products can register on Crytico.com, give a star rating and write a review on their experience using their mobility device.  Crytico.com is also a great resource for consumers who are in the market for a mobility product, like a transfer seat base, by reading the reviews of others.  There is no cost for consumers to use the website.

“Crytico is the only forum that provides mobility challenged consumers with a way to share their opinions on a wide variety of mobility equipment,” said John Evans, B&D Independence President. “When Crytico approached us to get involved in the website test launch, we jumped at the opportunity. I viewed it as an opportunity to connect directly with our consumer. The test phase was incredible and the decision to become a Platinum Partner was an easy one.  Our B&D team takes great pride in our products and is using the consumer feedback to guide us on how to make our products even better. With Crytico, the consumer gains his voice and we are listening!”

“Crytico.com is a much needed resource in the mobility industry,” said Monique McGivney, Crytico Mobility Advocate.  “The products and providers in this space are unique and very specialized, and while learning about features and benefits from the people that sell the products is important; now consumers have a place to go to read what their peers, who use the products, have to say.  With partners like B&D Independence, the website will continue to grow and be that resource for our community.”

Crytico

Crytico.com launched in September of 2014 and has been well received with over 1000 reviews written on the website.  All reviewers on Crytico.com are authenticated by a 3rd party to ensure authenticity of the reviews.  With over 1500 products and providers on the site, it is a valuable resource for consumers of mobility products.

About B&D Independence
B&D Independence, Inc. was founded in 1981, with a commitment to create a company where quality and service would never be compromised. They take pride in knowing they have helped thousands of people regain their independence. Today, B&D Independence is recognized as the world leader in the design and manufacture of power transfer seat bases and an innovator in powered wheelchair docking systems. B&D Independence is committed to their customers and to providing the finest mobility equipment in the industry.

About Crytico
Crytico.com was created by industry experts who have worked in the mobility product arena for several decades, recognizing a void of opinions on products and services customers purchase. Crytico.com is the first and only premier review site that is 100% dedicated to mobility products and services mobility dealers provide. For more information contact Monique@crytico.com.

How To Write a Thorough Online Review

For some people, the thought of writing an online review is scary and intimidating.  We wanted to share some tips to help you overcome any obstacles you may have with writing a review.  Remember that online reviews are merely your opinion, and everyone’s opinions are different; not better or worse, just different.  Reviews don’t have to be “perfect” but they should be genuine and factual.  Your opinion matters and is important to share with your peers, just as other reviews were integral in your search of products and services.

Here is a great article on How To Write an Online Review and it says, “Every good online review should include a few things, including the Who, What, Why, When, Where and How of your experience. It’s also important to keep other customers in mind when you sit down to write your review. Think about what you look for in online reviews and write in a similar manner.”

Mobility Review

In another informative article, How Writing a Good Review Can Help a Business You Love, it says, “If you ever have had a really bad experience at a restaurant, doctor’s office or other business, you may have quickly gotten online in order to write a negative review of the company or product so that you could warn others.  When you have a pleasant experience at a business, however, you might not think about doing so, but you should.  Positive reviews are just as important as negative ones, and writing good reviews can really help out a business that you love.”

Crytico Tips:

  1. Think before you write – whether your review is positive or negative, using the 24 hour rule is always a good idea to ensure you have some time to thoroughly think out what you want to say. You want your review to be helpful, collect your thoughts and take your time.
  2. Include important information and leave out the fluff – what specifically made your experience with a product or service great or not so great?  What features delight you or frustrate you?  If you owned the business in which you are reviewing, what would you like to know from your customers?
  3. Accuracy – keep in mind what exactly you are reviewing and focus on that specific product or service.  If you are reviewing a local mobility provider, ensure you are separating product issues that may be beyond their control and focus on the service they provide you irregardless of a product performance.  If you have a product you would like to review, find that product on Crytico.com and write an additional review on your experience specifically on that product.  There are many products that are “add on” equipment, like transfer seating or wheelchair conversions on minivans.  These are products that were added onto a van, like a Honda Odyssey or Dodge Grand Caravan.  Try to review only the mobility equipment that you purchased or had installed vs. the original car or van that it was put on.  The original vehicle is made by Honda or Dodge and many features are not in the control of the “add on” equipment manufacturers like VMI or Bruno.  If you are reviewing a wheelchair accessible van, focus on the features of the ramp, wheelchair maneuverability, etc. and things that are unique to the conversion.
  4. Uniqueness – some usefully information is what makes your experience unique to you.  Because Crytico is a website filled with products and services for people with mobility related issues, tell your story.  Are you a C4 Quadriplegic, or are you just needing a little help getting around?  These types of details will help future consumers of the product or service you review more educated since we know each person with a disability or mobility issue are very unique.  Click here to read a great review where someone described how they use a particular product.
  5. Timeframe – are you writing a review on a new product or used?  Did you visit the dealer/provider recently or was your experience in the past?  This information is very useful to future consumers as products and businesses are constantly changing and improving.

electronic word of mouth

Your voice and opinion is important; not only to future consumers of products like wheelchairs, stair lifts or wheelchair accessible vans, but also to the providers who sell them and the manufactures who make them.  Write your review today on Crytico.com!

Abilities Expo – San Jose, CA

If you have the opportunity to attend an Abilities Expo trade show, do it.  These expo’s are informative, educational and fun.  Abilities Expo’s are run in six major cities around the United States and people come from all over to attend.

Abilities Expo

These trade shows have hundreds of vendors and displays of products and services dedicated to people with disabilities or people who have mobility or developmental issues.  Imagine being able to connect with non-profits, local services and products that you didn’t know existed all in one place.

Upsee from Firefly

Upsee from Firefly

This product, Upsee by Firefly was amazing to see.  The Upsee is a mobility device that lets children with motor impairment stand and walk with the help of an adult.  The representative from Firefly was kind and passionate about this product and seeing smiles on children’s faces who maybe standing for he first time.

MV-1

Wheelchairs and Mobility vehicles take up a bulk of the expo which is very beneficial for attendees since you get to check out lots of different brands all in one place.  Imagine looking at brands like Permobil, Pride, and TiLite wheelchairs all in one place and getting the opportunity to speak with manufacturer’s representatives.

Assist Dogs

Organizations like California Canine,  non-profit, 501(c)3, organization that provides trained special dogs to assist disabled individuals in order to make their lives easier with more freedom and independence, have representatives there.  The list goes on and on and so does the laughter and fun.  

CryticoAt the Crytico booth, we were giving out LED rings and necklaces for people who wrote a review on their mobility scooter or wheelchair van or local mobility dealer.  It was fun to see little girls and not so little girls rolling around with a little bling.  Check out Abilities Expos if you can, it’ll be well worth your time.

Tips for Buying Used Adaptive Equipment

If you are in the market to purchase adaptive equipment, like wheelchairs, stair lifts, scooter lifts, wheelchair vans, etc. you may be overwhelmed by the cost of some of these items.   There is a robust market for used mobility products and wanted to share some tips when shopping for used adaptive equipment

1. Research the right product for you and your needs.  Not all stair lifts, wheelchairs or handicap vans are the same.  The allure of a great deal should not deter you from getting the best product for you.  We’ve seen it happen over and over where consumers are in the market for one item, but purchase a less expensive similar item and are never satisfied because it doesn’t completely fit them or their needs.

2Use helpful internet tools by checking prices and reviews.  Check out websites like Crytico.com and the manufacturer’s website.  The manufacturer’s website should have all the specifications, dimensions and features listed to ensure the mobility product will fit in your home, garage, car, etc.  They should also be able to give you a quote on what that used product you are researching is new.  After you’ve done some research on the product, then see what your peers have to say about the product by researching it on Crytico.com.  Crytico is a website of unbiased reviews made by your peers; people that actually use the products, not just someone trying to sell you something.  Remember that all reviews on Crytico are authenticated by a call center so you can feel confident of their authenticity.

Crytico

3. What is the warranty left on the used product for sale?  Some new mobility products have lengthy warranties and some have a warranty less than a year, so it is in your best interest to find this out before making any purchase.  After you find out what the original warranty is, then find out if there is any warranty left on the used product you wish to buy.  #1, It’s useful for you to determine if the price of that used product without a warranty makes up for buying the same item new with a full manufacturer’s warranty.   #2, It can help with price negotiations;  If the warranty is expired, use that to your advantage when talking price with the seller.   Some warranties are not transferable, so if there is a warranty left on the used item, do your due diligence here.  Lastly, some products, like wheelchair vans have two warranties associated; one for the original van (like Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna) and then the warranty for the wheelchair conversion (like VMI, BraunAbility or Amerivan).   If you are in the market for an accessible van, ensure you research both warranties.

VMI Wheelchair Van

4. What is the condition of the used product?  This is important especially if you are looking to purchase the used mobility product over the Internet (sight unseen).  Ask the seller questions like (1) How often was the product used?  Remember the days of buying Grandma’s old Buick?  Despite the car being 15 years old, she only used it to go to the store and back so it had minimal usage despite it’s years.  On the flip side, we have seen products that get heavily used so don’t let the “newness” of the product (i.e. less than a year old) mask how often it may have been used.  (2) Is the seller the original owner?  Many mobility products have been sold over and over, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but something you should be aware of.  (3) Is there a maintenance history on the product?  If you are in the market for a used wheelchair, remember they are like little cars with lots of moving parts.  Maintenance on any adaptive equipment will extend its life.  (4) Has it been inspected by a certified mobility technician?  You maybe be able to convince the seller to have it inspected for minimal expense for added piece of mind.

5. How long do you intend to use the product?  Many disabilities and disorders cause people’s mobility to get worse as time goes on, like Multiple Sclerosis or ALS.  On the flip side, with advancements in technology, many spinal cord patients are seeing vast improvements with their mobility.  What product fits you today may not fit your needs in a year or two years.  Or, the product you are seeking may be a solution for years to come.  This time frame should be weighed in your buying decision when looking at new vs. used.

spinal cord, mobility review

6Try it out!   If the product you are shopping for is local to you and available to try before you buy, do it.  Some products, like stair lifts and home elevators can’t be demonstrated because of the nature of the product (must be installed in your home).  However, there are many products that you can try out; like wheelchair vans, scooters, wheelchairs, etc.  Make sure the product fits you and is in good condition.

7. Do a gut check.  What’s that old adage, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”?  If after you go through our six tips for purchasing a used piece of adaptive equipment and it does not “feel” right, your best bet might be to walk away.  The market for used equipment grows everyday as people trade in old equipment for new products, or they simply don’t need the mobility device any longer.  In addition to that, the new equipment that is coming on the market may have more and better features that better suit your needs.

crytico

Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Crytico team if you have any questions.  Our job is to help out in any way we can.  844-CRYTICO / info@crytico.com.

Cool Adaptive Products for 2014

Besides being a great resource for reading and writing reviews, Crytico is also a unique website where thousands of mobility products and dealers/providers are in one place; like these cool adaptive products.  No longer do you need to go to 10-15 different websites to find products and services for your specific mobility challenges; Now you can hang out on Crytico.com.  Another benefit is that Crytico may introduce you to products you didn’t know existed; you can’t google what you don’t know to google:-)

Here are some fun and interesting products that you can find on Crytico that help people with different levels of mobility challenges.

1. Wijit
Do you own a manual wheelchair and sometimes get tired after hours of pushing your wheels?  Then Wijit is a product for you!  It is a lever system that can be adapted to your current wheelchair and gives you all the features of a powered wheelchair but at a fraction of the cost.

Wijit Wheelchair

2. Automatic Door Opener
The Otodor is an automatic swing door operator.  This is a great product for all levels of mobility issues; from an elderly person to someone who uses a wheelchair.  This device can be installed on interior doors and with a push of a button, open sesame!  It’s a perfect use for use of the door from your garage entering into your home.

3. Jaco
A robotic arm?  Yes!  For those of you who may have significant physical limitations, this robotic arm can assist in daily tasks that may be difficult for you to perform.  With help eating to picking up objects; if you can control a wheelchair, you can control the Jaco!

Jaco, Robotic Arm

4. Standing and Lifting Aid
Are you a caregiver or know someone who is?  The Sara 3000 is a lifting device that aids caregivers lift family members or patients out of bed, out of their wheelchair, etc.  The health and safety of caregivers is so important and this product helps with ensuring they don’t injure themselves or the person they are helping. Click here to read reviews on the Sara 3000.

Patient Lift Sara 3000

5. Driving Aids
Want to get behind the wheel and experience driving again?  With limited modifications to your vehicle’s dash, this is a great option for people who are in the market for hand controls.  The Autolock features allows you to lock the device so people who need to use your vehicle (mechanics, valets, etc.) can’t misuse the driving device.  As with any driving device or hand controls, always get a  professional driver evaluation to ensure safety and recommended products for your capabilities. Read reviews on this SureGrip driving device.

6. Monoski
Winter is around the corner, ever thought about using a monoski and hitting the slopes?  This Torino model has bells and whistles that’ll help you make the most of your skiing experience.  Here is a great article on ski resorts that specialize in adaptive skiing. http://www.disabled-world.com/sports/snow/resorts.php

7. Mobility Ventures
For those of you who are looking for a wheelchair van, the MV-1 may just be your ticket.  Many times, the transition from a full-size accessible van to a wheelchair accessible minivan isn’t very exciting.  You may want to take a look at the MV-1 as it’s sort of a mix between a minivan and full-size van with lots of interior headroom and the option to position the wheelchair in the front passenger position.

8. Veloped
This walker was designed with the active person in mind.  Have you been wanting to get in shape, but fear  stability with cracks, gravel, snow and grass?  This particular assistive device is an outdoor walker built for support and comfort.  Get in shape and be safe when hitting the trails and gear up with the Veloped!

Veloped - Walker

9. Rodeo
For parents with children who have a disability, this is a great option if you need a pediatric wheelchair.  Made by Convaid, this wheelchair is customizable and with different reclining positions to grow with your child.  Along with tons of functionality comes a little fun with color options like “sassy purple” and “apple green”. 

10. Stair Lift
Are the stairs in your home getting tougher and tougher to manage?  The Elan stair lift by Bruno may be a great solution for you.  With its continuous charge and 300lb lifting capacity, introduce this to the seniors in your life who need a little help with getting to different levels of their home.  When the stair lift is not in use, it can be folded so it only protrudes 12” from the wall.

Crytico does not endorse one product over another, our goal is to educate and introduce you to some products you may not know are out there.  Email us with any suggestions or comments – info@crytico.com.

Local Mobility Event

Small local mobility events are great ways to get introduced to products and people in your community.  I recently attended an open house at a mobility equipment dealer in Phoenix, Performance Mobility.

Performance Mobility

This particular event was open to the public and there were many incentives for customers, both new and old, to visit these type of mobility events.

Mobility Open House

Usually the food is great!

Mobility Dealer

 

Secondly, there is manufacturers representatives that fly in from corporate offices.  The benefit to you as a consumer is that you get to talk to the experts of the products on display.

Full size handicap van

Third, there are multiple products on display for you to get in or test.  Many dealers who put on these events bring in products from all over to ensure they have a good representation of everything they sell.  Anything from driving controls, to scooter lifts, wheelchair vans, and stair lifts is on display.

Crytico

Lastly, there is free stuff!!  From pens to tv’s, many of these mobility events have some great give-aways, raffles and prizes.  Do some checking in your area and see if and when some local events may be occurring; it’ll be worth your time to attend.

 

Safety Tips for Seniors and Their Homes

We recently came across this article that had some great tips and information for home improvements that can be made for our aging population.

Bruno Stair Lift

Bruno Stair Lift

This article was recently posted in US News and it was written by Geoff Williams:  

If your parents are getting up there in years, you may have had the discussion about whether it’s better for them to stay put or go to an assisted living facility. It’s a pretty safe bet that your parents prefer to stay in their home: According to a 2011 AARP research report, almost 90 percent of people over age 65 would rather remain at home as long as they’re able, and 80 percent of older Americans have firm plans to stay put.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of home renovation projects that can help your mother or father stay at home. Here’s a look at some of them, starting with the more pie-in-the-sky improvements and moving down the list in cost.

Elevator. Installing an elevator will be a challenge and costly. “Elevators are highly regulated. The structural work required to create a proper, isolated channel can run up a hefty carpentry bill alone,” says Sabine Schoenberg, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based home improvement blogger at SabinesHome.com.

ThyssenKrupp Home Elevator

ThyssenKrupp Home Elevator

The cost, Schoenberg says, depends on the length of the elevator and how many floors it goes to – just the second floor, or the attic and basement as well? As a general rule, she says, expect to pay $30,000 and possibly quite a bit more.

Stair lift. These are also expensive. “They often require a custom fitting to the staircase. The track is the most costly element of stair lift systems,” Schoenberg says.

Still, as prices go, it’s no elevator. You can find quite a few stair lifts online for less than $3,000, but they also run $10,000 and up. And don’t forget installation, since this is a project you probably don’t want to do yourself. According to Mr. Handyman, the national handyman service, the estimated labor to install a stair lift using its franchise averages between $400 and $500.  Click here to read the article in it’s entirety.

Review us on Crytico - Mobility Reviews

Keep in mind to check reviews on Crytico.com prior to purchasing any home modifications for seniors.   And then after you purchase your elevator, stair lift or ramp, come back to Crytico to write a review on the product you had installed.

My First Online Review!

For those seasoned online reviewers, do you remember the first review you posted on Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor, etc.?  What spurred you to take the time to write the review; did you have an incredible experience or did the restaurant/product fall short of your expectations?

As more and more reviews are coming through Crytico.com, it made me reflect back to my first online review.  As a lover of all things social, I hadn’t written an online review until last year, which is strange.  I asked myself why I hadn’t written reviews online, because I definitely read them before heading out to a new restaurant or purchasing new headphones, etc.  Did I not want the Websites to have my information?  Did I not want to get spammed with a bunch of junk email?  To this day, I am not sure of the reason, but the point is mute since I am now an avid online reviewer!

yelp and amazon reviews

My first review came after a wonderful experience at a neighborhood bar & grill while I was traveling for work.  I was staying in an area close to the Milwaukee airport which was littered with hotels.  There was only one decent restaurant in walking distance of all these hotels, and it was okay.  I went the first night and the whole crowd was travelers from the hotels in the area.  I really didn’t have any complaints, except I wanted something more authentic to Milwaukee; not just a restaurant that caters to one time guests and business travelers.

Mobility Reviews

On my second and last night in Milwaukee, I went online and did a search of other restaurants in the area and I found a neighborhood bar and grille that was a little over a mile away.  I went onto Yelp and read the reviews and decided to check it out.  The place wasn’t anything great, but it didn’t portray itself to be anything other than a neighborhood bar and grille, which is what I wanted.  I sat at the bar and enjoyed the lively conversation among the customers and the football that was on tv.  I ordered my food and a drink and by the time I left, I felt as if I was one of the family.  The food was okay, the ambiance was so-so, but the people is what made my experience so wonderful.  I felt that I would be doing my fellow travelers a disservice if I didn’t write a review on this place.

Use Crytico.com to tell your peers about products and services that make your lives a little more mobile!  Do you have a stair lift in your home that has made your 2nd floor easy to access?  How has your scooter or wheelchair made your life easier?  Tell your peers on Crytico.com.

Crytico

Complaint vs. Review – Is There a Difference?

As the word begins to spread about Crytico, there has been a common statement among consumers, “Oh good, so I can write about a problem I am having”.   While Crytico.com is a site built for you, our customers, you can choose to use it as you wish.  If you feel this is the medium to lodge a complaint, please do so, however, here are some things to think about before you write a “complaint” vs. a “review”.

Complaint

Here is feedback from customer service professionals as to the difference between a complaint and a review:

  • “Typically when you have a complaint with a product or service; you are seeking a resolution from the business”
  • “A complaint is when a customer does not feel their needs are met or heard”
  • “A customer review is subjective feedback which can be positive, neutral or positive
  • “A complaint is a reaction to a delivery or commitment not met.  A review might be a suggestion or better way to accomplish a process or build a better product”
  • “A complaint is something that might result in a corrective or preventative action and a review can be an opportunity for improvement”
  • One consumer wrote, “If I have a complaint, I expect something to be done.  If I am giving a review/feedback, I just feel something could be handled better and I want to share that information”.

write-review-md

 

If you have a complaint or expect some resolution from a manufacturer or mobility dealer, we suggest contacting them directly with your grievance so they can attempt to correct the situation.  While manufacturers and dealers will have access to Crytico.com, they may not be aware of your comment on the site and therefore won’t be able to rectify the situation. After making contact with them is a good time to write a review on your overall experience with that manufacturer or service.

An online review should be information for your peers so they can determine whether or not a particular product or dealer is worth their time/investment.  With that said, Crytico is your website, so feel free to use it as you wish:-)