As we know from a recent episode of TV’s Rogue Traders, the mobility industry can easily attract publicity for all the wrong reasons.
Allegations made against a West Midlands dealer’s sales practices shone a light on the responsibility that the industry has to serve what are often very vulnerable or uninformed customers in the right way.
In that instance, the dealer in question has refuted much of the claims that have been made against it and sought to defend its reputation in the face of stinging criticism.
While that story rumbles on, there has been another more cut-anbddried example of what can happen when a company from within the industry operates in a way that is totally out of sync with the morals expected of it.
I’m talking about Peak Healthcare, a now-defunct dealer from Chesterfield that used a cold-calling scheme to target customers and make money out of retaining their deposits when they legally cancelled contracts they had signed up for.
Christopher Carrington, who ran the business, is now serving a one-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to unfair trading which left some victims thousands of pounds out of pocket.
Peak Healthcare cold-called older people living in sheltered accommodation across the country, arranging sales visits to potential customers to run what they called ‘sleep clinics’.
In reality, it was just a ruse to demonstrate products and make sales presentations where vulnerable residents could be encouraged to sign up to buy expensive mobility-type products, such as memory foam mattresses and rise-and-recline armchairs.
The business then let its customers down by failing to return deposits when contracts were legally cancelled, not delivering goods ordered or delivering inferior goods.
Cases like this, fortunately, are few and far between given that most dealers operate in a transparent and responsible way.
Sadly, though, when such deplorable actions are exposed and damage is done to the reputation of the industry, everybody else is forced to work that little bit harder.