News item

Beware of unfair doorstep sales practices in mobility aids sector

Trading Standards Institute supports consumer warning to beware of unfair doorstep sales practices in mobility aids sector
The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) has welcomed a market study from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), warning consumers about traders who use unfair sales practices to sell mobility aids such as scooters, stair lifts and adjustable beds to the elderly and disabled in their home. It also concludes that people may be paying too much.

During the course of the study, published last week (29 September), the OFT launched consumer protection investigations into two national mobility aids traders - one in relation to suspected unfair doorstep sales practices and the other over its terms and conditions and service delivery.

Andy Foster, Operations Director at Trading Standards Institute, said: ‘Local trading standards services throughout the country are also actively engaged in enforcement action into similar sales practices in the mobility aids sector.

‘TSI is pleased that the OFT has launched consumer protection investigations and has also started action which could lead to the removal of the credit licences from a number of sellers of mobility aids.

‘People who buy this kind of aid are often vulnerable. They want the mobility aid to make their lives easier, not to bring them a whole load of trouble.

‘The important decision of knowing whether they are buying the right item and what price they should be paying can be difficult – there are so many mobility products available. It is vital that consumers are not pressurised into making an inappropriate, snap decision that could leave them with something that is not what they need and out of pocket into the bargain. People should be able to take their time over such a                life-changing decision.’

The OFT has launched a national consumer awareness campaign providing consumers with practical tips and informing them of their rights when buying mobility aids on the doorstep.

More details are available on the OFT website: and at
Notes for Editors:
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Irja Howie at TSI press office on 0845 608 9430  or

Trading Standards Institute (TSI)
TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.

TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses.  We are also supporting the delivery of initiatives such as the advice services Consumer Direct, UK ECC and UK ECCS.