'Experience of Peterborough firm left my elderly mum frightened'

Ben Donohoe, David Perrow and Tim Clark
Ben Donohoe, David Perrow and Tim Clark
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The daughter of a woman who was targeted by Peterborough firm Life Comfort Products said the experience left her mum 'frightened.'

Carol Morton discovered an appointment card for a Life Comfort Products demonstration with company literature in her mother's home. She discovered that the canvasser initially called at a neighbour's house.

David Turner and Joel Henry

David Turner and Joel Henry

The neighbour specifically told the canvasser not to call on Carol Morton's mother. The canvasser ignored this and also the 'No Cold Calling' stickers on her door.

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Carol’s mother - aged in her 80s - was adamant that while she had spoken to the canvasser, she had not agreed to a sales demonstration. She already has two rise and recliner chairs and repeatedly told the canvasser this and that she wasn't interested.

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Despite this, he made an appointment for a demonstration without her knowledge - only to be discovered when Carol Morton found the appointment card within literature the canvasser had handed her mum.

Geoffrey and Jaqueline Turner

Geoffrey and Jaqueline Turner

The canvasser was described as being overly persistent and would not take 'no' for an answer. This fits with training material seized by Trading Standards, which found that canvassers were instructed to ‘persistently persist’ and whistleblowers’ statements that they were told 'not to walk away from the door until the householder is showing anger or slams the door in their faces.'

Carol said: “This had a terrible effect on my mum. She was frightened to answer the front door, and worried that Life Comfort will come back. She wouldn’t even venture into her front garden or answer the phone unless she recognised the number. These people don’t care about the elderly or how their actions can affect people’s lives”

Another victim of Life Comfort Products was Derek Bold, who is aged in his 70s and has Multiple Sclerosis, which means he relies on a wheelchair. He agreed to a demonstration from Life Comfort Products to find out more about their wheelchair products.

Over a three-hour demonstration by David Perrow, he was repeatedly misled. He was told that the chair would be built in Peterborough and designed to his specifications.

He was initially quoted £6,500, but on refusal, the price dropped dramatically to £1,500 - on the condition that he agreed to buy there and then. This practice is banned in law under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

When Derek received the chair, it wasn't as expected or described and had a number of defects. On independent inspection, the chair was found to have numerous issues. Most seriously, the dimensions of the so-called "made to measure" chair bore no resemblance to his measurements.

He complained and was visited by David Turner, who told him he couldn't reject it and accused him of making excuses because he had changed his mind about buying the chair. When Derek insisted on rejecting the chair, the company ignored his correspondence.