Manager Of Mobility Company Guilty Of Aggressive Tactics

Published 19 Jan 2015

Westminster Recliners Limited and Oliver Waters, who used an aggressive practice with vulnerable customers, were found guilty in Ipswich Crown Court.

Westminster Recliners Limited and Oliver Waters, who used an aggressive practice when dealing with vulnerable customers, have been found guilty in Ipswich Crown Court to offences under Consumer Protection legislation.

Oliver Waters, 26 of Manwick Road, Felixstowe, who manages the company, was sentenced for offences under Consumer Protection legislation to an 18 month conditional discharge meaning that if he commits another crime, then he can be sentenced for the aggressive practice and any new offences. In addition Oliver Waters and the company were ordered to pay their legal costs of £86,000.

Westminster Recliners sell products to customers who have mobility needs. Typically, following a telephone call to a potential customer, a sales appointment is made, and one of a number of regional sales representatives of the company visits the customer’s home to demonstrate the products.

After numerous complaints, Suffolk Trading Standards investigated the activities of the company now based at Three Rivers Business Park, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich. Customer complaints included aggressive letters from the company to customers who were wishing to exercise their legal rights to cancel orders, which advised the consumers that they would only get a small part of the upfront deposit that they paid during the sales visit, but only if they agreed to keep this settlement confidential.

In mitigation, Westminster Recliners Limited represented by the Waters' stated that following the trial they had a strong desire to make changes to protect consumers and improve their business regime. This included phoning consumers who were visited by the company to see if they were happy with their purchase at the point of delivery of goods and taking the customer through a feedback form process. They also agreed to tape and transcribe sales meetings so that Trading Standards could view them at a later date.

The company also stated that they would give money back to three of the witnesses in the trial, who had not received refunds.

Suffolk Trading Standards Original Web Article