The company, based in Keighley West Yorkshire, began trading in March 2011 under the name “Mobility Plus” and used national newspaper advertising to sell mobility scooters to the public.
Once potential customers contacted them, the company arranged home visits by sales representatives, and if any sales took place, the full payment was demanded at the time. Between March 2011 and October 2011 the company generated sales of £757,238.
The investigations by The Insolvency Service also found;
- Some customers were sold mobility scooters which they were unable to use safely because of their particular disabilities. In one such case, a scooter was sold to a customer aged 80 who had had both legs amputated, despite the relevant guidelines suggesting that the product was suitable for “a single occupant who experiences difficulty walking for prolonged periods but has the use of both legs”.
- The representatives who made the home visits were referred to as “Assessors” which reinforced the impression that they would assess the customer and consider the suitability of a mobility scooter in view of the customer’s individual needs and requirements. However, the sales representatives were not qualified to conduct such an assessment.
- A sales script used by the company encouraged potential customers to make an appointment for a salesman to visit their home. The sales script gave the impression that the home visit would enable the salesman to assess the customer and consider the suitability of a mobility scooter in view of a customer’s individual needs and requirements.
- The company sent correspondence to elderly customers in response to their complaints which lacked transparency as to the company’s identity and its officers with the result that the correspondence caused confusion to the elderly customers.
- The court heard that the company’s business was the same or similar to that carried on by Easy Care Sales UK Ltd which went into liquidation on 7 March 2011. A significant number of Easy Care’s customers have complained about that company’s sales techniques and business practices.
Commenting on the case, Alex Deane, an investigation supervisor at The Insolvency Service said:
This company carried on business that was not acceptable and mainly targeted the elderly and vulnerable. The Service will investigate such behaviour and, where appropriate, close such companies down to protect the public”.
Notes to Editors
1. Luggie UK Ltd was incorporated on 4 November 2010 and has its Registered Office at Wesley House, Huddersfield Rd, Birstall, Batley, West Yorkshire WF17 9EJ. The company traded from Parkway House, Worth Way, Keighley BD21 5LD.
2. The petition to wind up the company was presented by the Secretary of State on 13 December 2011 under Section 124A of the Insolvency Act 1986. The company was wound-up on the Order of the Court on 1 May 2012 and the Official Receiver was appointed as liquidator.
3. The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. The Service also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession; deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures; assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees; provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds; and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice. Further information about the work of The Insolvency Service is available from www.bis.gov.uk/insolvency
4. All public enquiries concerning the affairs of Luggie UK Ltd should be addressed to: The Official Receiver, Public Interest Unit, 2nd Floor, 3 Piccadilly Place, London Road, Manchester, M1 3BN. Tel: 0161 234 8531. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Media Enquiries should be directed to: Kathryn Montague, Media Relations Manager on 020 7674 6910 or Ade Daramy, Press Officer on 020 7596 6187.