Door to door sales business fined £10,000

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A BUSINESS that sold unapproved adjustable beds and massage mattresses to vulnerable, elderly people in Warwickshire has been fined £10,250.

Warwickshire Trading Standards received several complaints about Relief Healthcare Ltd and now the company and its managing director, John McConville, were sentenced to fines of £10,250 in total and ordered to pay £20,000 costs at Cambridge Magistrates Court. The company and its managing director pleaded guilty to four charges under the Medical Devices Regulations 2002 (as amended) and Consumer Protection Act 1987, and five charges under the Consumer Protection against Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Relief Healthcare sales staff used misleading and unfair sales techniques on a number of vulnerable elderly people to persuade them to buy adjustable beds and massage therapy mattresses costing thousands of pounds.

The company claimed that the beds and mattresses, which were being placed on the UK market illegally, could help with a range of conditions including diabetes, broken bones, weight loss and “breaking down poison in the body”. There was no clinical evidence to support these claims.

Also, neither the beds nor the massage therapy mattresses were CE marked under the Medical Devices Directive, which determines compliance with UK legislation.

A leaflet entitled ‘Buying on the doorstep, your guide to buying mobility aids on the doorstep or from a salesperson in your home’ is available on Warwickshire County Council’s website, http://warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandardsleaflets.