BHTA launches disciplinary action against company after BBC investigation
Wed, 12 Jul 2017
The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has begun disciplinary action against 'Arise Mobility' following allegations made in a BBC Rogue Traders investigation that its selling techniques breached the approved Code of Practice.
During the broadcast that aired on Wednesday 12th July 2017, Arise Mobility was challenged by BBC investigators about allegations relating to cold calling, the length of time their sales staff spent at potential customers’ homes and lack of pricing transparency.
The programme highlighted potential breaches of the BHTA’s Code of Practice which is intended to protect consumers and is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
The BHTA’s Director of Governance & Policy, Sarah Lepak, was interviewed on the programme. Commenting on the allegations, she said:"This firm has not been a member for very long and is already facing disciplinary action leading to expulsion. The sales techniques described are not consistent with our Code of Practice.
"Our aim is to prevent companies from cold-calling customers, either by telephone or at home and 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."
The investigation by Rogue Traders included a salesman from the company, filmed on hidden cameras, visiting an actress' home for three and a half hours, withholding the quotation price when asked and price conditioning. The BBC investigators also placed a team member inside the company, exposing the company's inappropriate sales techniques and cold calling environment.
Sarah added: "We work hard to ensure that all BHTA members adhere to the Code through the use of mystery shoppers, regular audits and through customer feedback. The BHTA provides information to assist consumers with purchasing goods and every member company is required to make our advice available to assist people when purchasing products that help to maintain independent living.
"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”.
Sarah also confirmed that Trading Standards, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Furniture Ombudsman are aware of the action that the Trade Association is taking in relation to this company.