Remember when...Invacare, VGM turned their backs on The Scooter Store?
NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – Long before The Scooter Store’s management left, the company was raided by the FBI, and it started laying off employees, Invacare and The VGM Group took very public stands against the mobility giant.
In 2008, Invacare announced that it would no longer sell power wheelchairs to The Scooter Store, a move that meant giving up $10 million in business a year. Invacare made the move, in part, after The Scooter Store circulated a letter to “a handful of congressional offices” arguing against carving out complex rehab from competitive bidding.
In light of recent events, industry sources say Invacare made the right move to cut off The Scooter Store. When contacted for comment, a spokeswoman for Invacare confirmed that the manufacturer stopped doing business with The Scooter Store except for parts support in 2008.
“We are aware of the recent events at The Scooter Store,” she said. “We have no further
Following Invacare, The VGM Group in 2009 mailed a letter to about 2,600 providers asking them to carefully consider whether or not to do business with manufacturers that also do business with The Scooter Store. If they did, they could be helping to drive independent providers out of business, the letter stated.
“Our point at the time—and it’s still our point—was, we think competitive bidding and intense audits and other regulatory changes germinated from this idea that The Scooter Store has been doing something wrong,” said Jim Walsh president of The VGM Group and general counsel. “It has been killing us.”