’ServiceCall is a system designed to make it easier for a person with limited mobility to use petrol stations, banks, supermarkets, shops and many other services. You simply aim a small infrared transmitter to activate the ServiceCall receiver fitted in thousands of service providers’ windows’.
From the website: Service-Call.net – “Discreet Disabled Assistance” from Autochair Ltd.
The ServiceCall transmitter, which was first produced in 1993, will cost you £14.95, is a battery powered device and can fit in the palm of your hand.
On the website, there is a database listing thousands of different ServiceCall receiver sites at: airports, banks, benefits agencies, bookmakers, building societies, chemists, cinemas, dentists, hospitals, hotels, leisure centres, libraries, petrol stations, police stations, post offices, railway stations, restaurants, Shopmobility and supermarkets.
This does seem to be an impressive variety of service providers, but I wanted to test the validity of this. I did so by phoning the customer service helplines of the major companies involved and discovered that, for whatever reason, all but two of the apparent ServiceCall receiver sites were ignorant about ServiceCall, excluding the petrol stations.
For this reason, I believe that the only useful application for this system is in the service at petrol stations, especially as many of the other services can now be performed online or over the phone (and using mail or home deliveries!) with greater ease for people with limited mobility. It is unfortunate that only a minority of petrol stations have ServiceCall receivers installed.
Below I will explain the procedure for using the ServiceCall system step by step:
- Locate the ServiceCall receiver
- Aim your ServiceCall transmitter at it
- Press the button
- The receiver will flash in response
- Staff will be alerted by alarm and will come out to serve you
(If you use the supplied ServiceCall sticker it will be easy for the staff to identify your vehicle)
“No more sounding horns, flashing lights or having to ask passers-by for help – just look for ServiceCall.”
“Remember, service may not be possible at certain times e.g. Petrol Station when just one person is working or after 9pm.”
In conclusion, I think ServiceCall is a 17 year old system that has been outdated by newer technologies. However, I still believe that the ServiceCall system is a brilliant idea for disabled motorists looking to refuel their vehicle, although ServiceCall receivers should be installed in all petrol stations.
Article by Noor Homayoun