Valerie Issues Warning of Rogue Traders Targeting the Elderly and Disabled

Valerie Vaz MP is warning constituents to be on their guard against unscrupulous traders that sell mobility aids on the doorstep.


Valerie  has endorsed the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) campaign in raising awareness of this serious problem which affects vulnerable people in our society.


Valerie said: “Mobility aids are important products for elderly and disabled people, which can significantly improve their lives. For many they are an absolute necessity. I am supporting the OFT’s campaign for consumers to become more aware of the risks of doorstep sellers and the tricks they use to get people to agree to buy products that they may be able to purchase at a cheaper price elsewhere.


“This advice is very important and comes at an important time. I urge elderly and disabled people, their friends, relatives and health workers to be vigilant.”


Mobility aids are products that are used by the elderly or disabled such as mobility scooters, wheelchairs, and walk-in baths. These items are often sold to vulnerable people in their home. Consumer Direct, the OFT-managed advice service attracts a large number of calls from people complaining or asking for advice about mobility aids and in 2010, over 4,5000 such calls were made.


The OFT offers the following advice on how people can avoid being scammed by rogue doorstep traders:


  • Do not make snap decisions. Take time to talk to someone you trust before you make a decision.
  • Shop around. Compare pricing and information on the various options available to you so that you are not over-charged.
  • Even if you invite a trader into your home, you should still be on the watch out. Consider asking a friend or family member to be with you when the trader visits you in the home.


For advice on doorstep selling, please contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040 506 or visit or