There’s been reports around North Wales of people selling mattresses and beds from the back of vans…if someone approaches you about buying one it’s very important that you don’t get drawn into making a big mistake.
If you get a knock at your door and you’re offered something for a fraction of its retail price, we can see why you might be tempted to hand over your money…but there’s so many reasons why this is extremely dangerous.
Quite simply, buying products from ‘a man in a van’ isn’t a risk worth taking. You’re leaving yourself open to handing over cash for something that’s substandard, hasn’t gone through any kind of testing, and in the case of beds and mattresses these dangers can be fatal.
A potentially fatal hazard
The beds and mattresses aren’t what they appear to be. Sometimes the product you’re being offered was made from used spring units and dirty fillings, even if it looks fine on the outside.
Or it was possibly made for less than £50 from a very basic spring unit with a polyester fibre pad or a layer of cheap foam over it, and covered in a cheap material…but that’s if you’re lucky.
Either way, the product almost certainly hasn’t undergone testing to see whether it meets the UK mattress flammability regulations…and we’re sure you don’t want this potentially fatal hazard anywhere near you or your family.
“A substandard product that’s low in quality”
Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for People – Communities, Partnerships Public Protection and Community Safety, said: “If cold callers are offering to sell you a bed or mattress, it will almost certainly be a substandard product that’s low in quality, and the mattress won’t have been tested against UK mattress flammability regulations.
“If you’re told a bed is worth £900, but you can have it for £300 or less, that can seem tempting to some people, although the reality is that this product would have been put together for a fraction of the ‘cheap’ or ‘bargain’ price you’re being offered it for. It’s really important to be aware of this type of scam so you don’t fall victim to it.”
The people selling these can be extremely convincing too – they have company names very similar to well-known brands, with professional looking logos blazoned on their vans and polo shirts – but their products are far from what they seem.
If they sense you’re not sure, they’ll tell you how it’s all legit and it’s just excess stock from a store that was closing down, or perhaps from a cancelled order.
The product might be wrapped up in plastic to look nice and shiny with labels showing their supposed recommended retail prices, but it’s not what it appears to be.
Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it usually is ????
If you want to complain or get any advice about goods or services you have bought please contact Citizens Advice’s Consumer Advice Line on 0808 223 1133.