Lift supplier apologises after failures ‘left disabled people trapped’

Out Of OrderPhoto by Morris MacMatzen/Getty Images

A lift supplier has said it would ‘apologise in person’ to disabled and elderly people who were reportedly left trapped in their Exmouth flats after technical failures and delayed repairs.

Schindler UK allegedly took three months to fully complete repairs on the lift at Morgan Court and once repaired, it broke again. A stairlift had been installed while the lift was out of use but was reportedly removed without warning.

The lift firm came under fire from the local council recently, which is reportedly looking at taking action against Schindler or its ‘unsatisfactory’ lift installation and ‘poor project management’.

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In a local newspaper report, Schindler said a technical team has inspected the lift and a specialist will remain onsite for the foreseeable future.

A spokesperson told the Exmouth Journal: “We are very sorry for the recent inconvenience and distress caused to the residents of Morgan Court during the main passenger lift-replacement works. We experienced a number of delays during the installation of the main passenger lift, the most significant being a result of a building issue within the lift shaft.

“This meant we had to suspend work while we agreed a solution with [building owner] East Devon District Council (EDDC).

“When we put the lift into service in mid-July there was a further technical issue that required us to order a replacement part on an extended lead time. This led to the lift being out of service longer than we would have expected. We will be contacting the residents directly to tell them about the actions we are taking, and we will apologise to them in person.”

On its website, Schindler says: “We believe that excellence in safety, quality and customer service is key to our long-term success. We provide safe and reliable lift, escalator and related products whilst putting the customer at the heart of everything we do.”

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