Rogue Mobility Companies and the tactics they use
January 9, 2013 1 Comment
A recent spate of complaints to Trading Standards about rogue mobility companies has prompted the Trading Standards to compile a list of tricks and tactics used by companies.
Elderly residents and their carers have been warned to be on guard against rogue mobility companies.
The list includes:
- making unsolicited telephone calls and advising that they want the consumer to try cream for aches and pains – this can result in agreeing to a visit, in which the consumer can be pressure into buying a mobility aid
- telling consumers that the hospital has passed on their details to the company to arrange a visit
- a mobility company representative called unannounced to a blind elderly person, and did not provide any paperwork or details of the company
- targeting other vulnerable elderly consumers – an 85-year-old woman with memory problems and a lady with dementia were sold mobility aids
- promising that if a consumer was to buy an adjustable bed they would be free from aches or pains, and could stop taking painkillers
- advising consumers that hospitals, doctors and nursing homes are using the same beds
- stating that the mobility aid is specifically made to the consumers specification (this tactic is implemented to try and prevent cancellation)
- saying that contracts cannot be cancelled when the consumer is still within the 7-day cancellation period, and using delaying tactics until the cancellation period expires
- representatives may try and claim they are calling from social services or the hospital.
All these tactics have the primary aim of getting the representative through the door. Once inside, the consumer may be subjected to hours and hours of a high pressure sales pitch for a vastly overpriced mobility aid, that is often not suitable for the consumer.
Recent complaints show that residents have paid extortionate prices for goods that can be bought at reputable mobility product shops for a fraction of the price – one woman was charged £2,000 for a mattress.
People are being reminded that when doing business on your doorstep, there is a 7-day cooling off period.