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Craftmatic UK Ltd fined for aggressive selling practices – 07/09/2010

In a case brought by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment’s Trading Standards Service, Craftmatic UK Ltd was convicted of engaging in an aggressive commercial practice under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Craftmatic UK Ltd, seller of adjustable beds and motability scooters, was today fined a total of £250 at Belfast Magistrates’ Court.

This case arose following a complaint to the Trading Standards Service. The complainants, a couple in their 70’s, received an unsolicited telephone call from Craftmatic UK Ltd. Following this initial telephone call they agreed to be visited in their home by a representative of the company. The elderly couple alleged that they were subject to high-pressure selling practices and ended up buying a Craftmatic adjustable bed that they could not afford and did not want.

The couple informed the salesperson that they could not afford the Craftmatic bed upon learning that it would cost several thousand pounds. Despite this, the salesperson continued with his sales presentation and remained in the complainant’s home for two hours.

The complainants both suffer from a number of health problems. When the salesperson was made aware of these health problems he claimed that the Craftmatic bed would alleviate their ailments and bring them many health benefits.

Reluctantly, the complainants eventually agreed to purchase the bed as they had been convinced that it would assist them with their various health problems.

The couple eventually received a refund after the matter had been reported to the Trading Standards Service.

Sharon Muldoon of the Trading Standards Service said: “It is evident that these complainants were vulnerable consumers. Craftmatic took advantage of their vulnerability and used their health problems to pursue the sale in an unscrupulous manner. The actions of the company caused great distress to the complainants.

“It is our view that the sales practices used by Craftmatic were aggressive and unfair. Such high pressure selling practices take advantage of the most vulnerable consumers. The Trading Standards Service will take robust enforcement action against any trader found to be engaging in aggressive selling practices.”

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of aggressive selling should contact Domain Scams on 0300 123 62 62 or log on to Domain Scams.

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