Elderly warned over bullying mobility aid salesmen
MORE than 40 complaints have been recorded about salesmen pressurising older people to buy mobility aids in Staffordshire.
In the first four months of this year, Consumer Direct West Midlands received more than 240 complaints about mobility aid purchases with more than 18 per cent coming from Staffordshire – the second highest number of complaints in the region.
Mobility aids include motorised scooters and wheelchairs, stair lifts, bath aids and orthopaedic/adjustable beds. Many of the complaints related to defective products and customer service issues, while almost a quarter were about sales and business practices, including allegations that traders were making misleading claims.
Brandon Cook, pictured, head of community safety for Staffordshire County Council, said: "The estimated value of these aids that complaints have been received about is £65,000 for Staffordshire alone.
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"We have issued a previous warning to consumers following a spate of incidents in Staffordshire where older members of the public have been targeted by pressurised sales tactics such as continually receiving telephone calls until they agree to be visited, or being advised that a business is connected with Social Services and then being put under pressure to make a purchase. We are advising people not to feel pressurised into making a commitment to purchase equipment before seeking advice. If you do sign a contract you will have cancellation rights."
Those who have received a suspicious phone call or visit from a mobility company, can call Stoke-on-Trent Trading Standards on 01782 232065 or Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards on 07773 792252. People who need advice can call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.