The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has begun disciplinary action against Arise Mobility after a BBC exposé. The company in question is accused of using selling techniques the breach the approved Code of Practice, highlighting once again how crucial proper industry oversight is.
Arise Mobility was challenged by presenters of BBC show Rogue Traders on a 12th July broadcast over allegations of cold calling, the duration of visits to potential customers’ homes, and lack of pricing transparency. These allegations are unpleasant in any retail environment, but they take on a more sinister aspect in the mobility industry: we deal with vulnerable and elderly people on a regular basis, and it is imperative that they are protected from such predatory sales techniques.
Sarah Lepak, the BHTA’s director of governance and policy, made a lengthy comment on the situation:
“Our aim is to prevent companies from cold calling customers, either by telephone, or at home. No assessment or sale should last longer than three hours, except in very exceptional circumstances. Inappropriate selling tactics, such as high pressure selling with a high initial price followed by a discount, withholding price information until the end of a sale, or any form of price conditioning, are banned.”
She added that: “It is important people know that they can buy with confidence from our member companies because only BHTA member companies are covered by our Code of Practice. We have now made Trading Standards, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Furniture Ombudsman aware of the action that we are taking in relation to this company.”
Customers who feel as though they have been subjected to such predatory techniques as those used by Arise Mobility should in the first instance lodge a formal complaint with the BHTA. As this case demonstrates, the mobility industry is tightly regulated, so that consumers can be confident BHTA members are trustworthy, and answerable to a higher authority in the worst instance.
It should, perhaps, go without saying, but Shire Mobility is proud to be a member in good standing of the BHTA.