High Peak Conservative MP Andrew Bingham is warning constituents to be on their guard against unscrupulous traders that sell mobility aids on the doorstep.
Andrew is supporting the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT’s) campaign to raise awareness of this issue.
Mobility aids are products that are used by the elderly or disabled such as mobility scooters, wheelchairs, and walk-in baths. These items are often sold to vulnerable people in their home. Consumer Direct, the OFT-managed advice service attracts a large number of calls from people complaining or asking for advice about mobility aids and in 2010, over 4,500 such calls were made.
Andrew said “Mobility aids are important products for elderly and disabled people, which can significantly improve the quality of their lives. For many they are an absolute necessity. I am supporting the OFT’s campaign for consumers to become more aware of the risks of doorstep sellers and the tricks they use to get people to agree to buy products that they may be able to purchase at a cheaper price elsewhere.”
The OFT offers the following advice on how people can avoid being scammed by rogue doorstep traders:
• Do not make snap decisions. Take time to talk to someone you trust before you make a decision.
• Shop around. Compare pricing and information on the various options available to you so that you are not over-charged.
• Even if you invite a trader into your home, you should still be on the watch out. Consider asking a friend or family member to be with you when the trader visits you in the home.
For advice on doorstep selling, please contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040 506 or visit www.direct.gov.uk/consumer or www.oft.gov.uk/doorstepselling