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Author Topic: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud  (Read 1288 times)

Online MVacs

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Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« on: July 14, 2017, 08:02:20 PM »
Two people who ran a company that fraudulently serviced Dyson vacuums have been convicted at Leeds Crown Court of conspiracy to defraud following an investigation by National Trading Standards.

Thomas Scoffin (age 31 from Park Avenue, Leeds) and his mother Linda Scoffin (age 66 from Hall Drive, Lincoln) ran Leeds-based Excel Servicing Ltd. The company defrauded their customers – many of whom were elderly or vulnerable – by falsely claiming to represent Dyson and then conducting unnecessary servicing on their Dyson vacuum cleaners.

The company cold-called members of the public by phone and told them their Dyson vacuum cleaners required a service. Customers were misled to believe Excel Servicing represented Dyson, with some being told Dyson had contracted out their servicing to Excel.

Despite the company’s claim that people’s Dyson vacuum cleaners required servicing, Dyson vacuum cleaners do not require servicing at all [Our note: Untrue. See below]. When company representatives attended the homes of customers they conducted unnecessary ‘servicing’ on customer’s Dyson machines and, in some cases, actually damaged their Dyson vacuum cleaners. The actions of Excel Servicing representatives also voided customer’s Dyson warranties.

Customers were often charged between £50 and £200 for the servicing and replacement of filters in the Dyson vacuums. The typical charge for a new filter was £40 but investigations by the National Trading Standards Yorkshire & Humber Regional Investigations Team found that they were in fact worth between £2 and £5.

While at the homes of victims ‘servicing’ their Dyson cleaners, Excel Servicing staff used the opportunity to deploy pressure-selling tactics to persuade customers to buy unnecessarily another brand of vacuum cleaner. The new cleaners – which are designed for industrial use – were sold for between £500 and £2,000 and were often too heavy for the customers they were sold to.

Thomas and Linda Scoffin will be sentenced next month and are to face confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards, said:

“These individuals preyed on elderly and vulnerable consumers, exploiting their trust and defrauding them. The supposed servicing work was completely unnecessary and they abused their access to customers’ homes by having their staff then use pressure sales techniques to sell cleaners which were not needed and often unsuitable.

“National Trading Standards is committed to protecting consumers and we will not hesitate to prosecute those attempting to defraud consumers. If you think you or someone you know may have fallen victim to a fraudulent business then I would urge you to contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.”

The total money received by Excel Servicing from customers for this activity was over £1.5 million. This funded a lavish lifestyle for the defendants with money being spent on holidays, high-end clothing and a wedding for Ms Scoffin. Despite this Excel Servicing declared a loss to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customers during this period and paid no Corporation Tax.

Colin Rumford from the National Trading Standards Yorkshire & Humber Regional Investigations Team said:

“This investigation was shocking both in terms of the number of people who were defrauded and the shamelessness of the tactics deployed by Excel Servicing. The company deliberately targeted elderly and vulnerable people – including some who had dementia.

“The only purpose of this fraud was to enrich the defendants. While they inflicted misery on their victims they enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. I am pleased that our investigation has secured these deserved convictions.”

Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member with responsibility for Trading Standards at City of York Council, said:

“This case of mis-selling has caused considerable distress to many vulnerable people. The verdict shows the severity of their actions and mistreatment of customers, which will not be tolerated and our dedicated investigative team will continue their work to bring people who exploit people and defraud customers to justice.”

Their operations manager Paul Laycock, who was also tried for conspiracy to defraud, was found not guilty by the Jury.

Source

Online MVacs

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 08:08:31 PM »
We warned about these cold call rogue Dyson service outfits in >>this topic<< seven years ago, and one of our members mentioned this particular firm >>here in 2013<<.

However, the Trading Standards article has got one thing wrong.

Quote
Dyson vacuum cleaners do not require servicing at all.

This is patently untrue. Were that the case, Dyson service centres and service agents would not exist. Not to mention most of the reputable Dyson repair businesses out there.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards need to withdraw that untrue and misleading statement from their article.

Online ryevac

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2017, 01:16:57 AM »
Horrific statement to make...

 "Dyson vacuum cleaners do not require servicing at all"

 :'( :'( :'(

If it was assembled it can be disassembled - if we can't repair it then it probably isn't worth repairing !


Online MVacs

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2017, 03:10:10 AM »
Horrific statement to make...

 "Dyson vacuum cleaners do not require servicing at all"

 :'( :'( :'(

The topic here has been already linked to West Yorkshire Trading Standards, so any more opinion from those in the trade here would be most useful if they are to withdraw that ridiculous statement.

Offline Angus Black

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 03:02:19 PM »
The Guardian are now repeating this untruth, albeit slightly reworded:

Quote
In fact, Dyson vacuums do not routinely require any servicing.

Source

The Guardian are invited to read the 100+ comments on >this article<.

Very sloppy 'journalism'.

Online Madrat

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2017, 05:07:13 PM »
Quote
Very sloppy 'journalism'.

Is there any other sort now?

Online MVacs

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 11:27:33 PM »
We have a Facebook topic on this "fake news" the Trading Standards and the Guardian are putting out.

Barlows, a very reputable, long-established shop in Salford, not far from us, said this:

Quote
John Barlow: They are welcome to my 'Established & Reputable' Vacuum Service/ Repair shop to see many Dysons that benefit from a good service. And welcome to speak to many of our regular customers that appreciate the service we offer.



Others in the trade are welcome to comment here or on the relevant topics of ours on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I'll collate pertinent comments from all platforms here.

Online MVacs

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 11:17:24 AM »
Ten years jail total for mother and son’s vacuum servicing fraud

A mother and son who ran a company that fraudulently serviced Dyson vacuums have been sentenced at Leeds Crown Court today (25 September) for a total ten years for conspiracy to defraud following an investigation by National Trading Standards.

Thomas Scoffin (aged 31 from Park Avenue, Leeds) was the sole director of Leeds-based Excel Servicing Ltd and has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment. His mother Linda Scoffin (aged 61 from Hall Drive, Lincoln) who helped him run the business, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

The judge said that the fraud was so serious that it required a custodial sentence. There were also disqualified from being company directors: Tom for eight years, Linda for six years.

Following complaints against their firm, the National Trading Standards Yorkshire & Humber Regional Investigations team based at City of York Council took 34 witness statements from 24 February 2014 to 30 May 2015. They found that the Scoffins’ company defrauded customers – many of whom were elderly or vulnerable – by falsely claiming to represent Dyson and then conducting unnecessary servicing on their Dyson vacuum cleaners.

The company cold-called members of the public from across the north of England and told them their Dyson vacuum cleaners required a service. Customers were misled to believe Excel Servicing represented Dyson, with some being told Dyson had contracted out their servicing to Excel.

Despite their claim that Dyson vacuum cleaners required servicing, this is not the case which was confirmed by Dyson Ltd itself [our note: wrong *]. When company representatives visited customers they carried out unnecessary ‘servicing’ and, in some cases, actually damaged the vacuum cleaners and voided customers’ Dyson warranties.

Customers were often charged between £50 and £200 to service the cleaners, and charged £40 for a new filter which were, in fact, worth between £2 and £5.

While ‘servicing’ victims’ Dyson cleaners, Excel Servicing staff used pressure-sales tactics to persuade them to buy another brand of vacuum cleaner. The new cleaners – which are designed for industrial use – were sold for between £500 and £2,000 and were often too heavy for the customers to whom they were sold.

The investigators found that Linda Scoffin also ran her own business, KB Midlands Limited, from Lincoln. It supplied and sold Kirby cleaners, and also emailed instructions to Excel Servicing. KB Midlands Limited supplied Kirby cleaners to Excel Servicing.

£1.5 million was received into the Excel Servicing business account for the period of the investigation and payments were made - sometimes through a finance company – to buy Kirby vacuum cleaners.

The investigators also found that the couple paid for numerous foreign holidays from money made by Excel Servicing, while Tom Scoffin spent in bars, restaurants and casinos. During the period of investigation, he was found to have withdrawn £17,000 in cash, and the business bank account for Excel Servicing was used to buy international flights.

Despite this spending, Excel Servicing declared a loss to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs during this period and paid no Corporation Tax.

Both now face confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Lord Toby Harris, Chair of National Trading Standards, said:

“These individuals preyed on elderly and vulnerable people, exploiting their trust and defrauding them. I would like to thank all involved in bringing these criminals to justice – these sentences send a strong signal that National Trading Standards will not hesitate to prosecute those attempting to defraud consumers.

“If you think you or someone you know may have fallen victim to a fraudulent business then I would urge you to contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.”

Councillor Ann Reid, interim executive member with responsibility for Trading Standards at City of York Council, said:

“This tenacious investigation is to be congratulated: it has revealed a disgraceful fraud against vulnerable people and has brought those responsible to justice. I hope this sentence goes someway to reassuring the victims of this fraud and helps restore consumer confidence in legitimate businesses.”

Colin Rumford from the National Trading Standards Yorkshire and Humber Regional Investigations Team said:

“Being aware of consumer rights, not settling for spurious assurances and reporting concerns to Trading Standards is the right thing for people to do: this case proves that. I’m delighted with this team’s work and its outcome.”

Source.

============================

* Our note: The Trading Standards are STILL making this claim:

Quote
Despite their claim that Dyson vacuum cleaners required servicing, this is not the case which was confirmed by Dyson Ltd itself.

This is patently untrue and Trading Standards are not helping people by perpetuating that myth which is in fact simply propaganda they got from Dyson. If Dysons did not require any servicing, Dyson wouldn't have service vans.  :-\


Offline RustySkull

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 12:23:18 PM »
Blimey, I know I'll get some abuse for this comment but... The public of today really need to use their heads and stop being so lazy. Simply say to the people telling them their Vacuum needs work that they don't want it. What fool would pay somebody at their door £200 or even £50 for a service on their Vacuum... I'm sorry but it's the stuopidness of the public's fault this pair of idiots were even able to do what they did.

People of today are so lazy that they take up any option that means they have to do less activeities. A person comes to their door and offers to service their Vacuum. The Public person thinks "Great I haven't got to do it myself ot take it to a real shop now I can sit at home and keep being lazy while this fool does it for me"

Public = Fools.
If You Like Machines, Radios and Cars As Well As Vacuum Cleaners Then Check Out The Official RustySkull Productions YouTube!
>>>>>>RustySkull Productions YouTube!<<<<<< >>>>>Twitter<<<<<>>>>>BookFace<<<<<

Online Madrat

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 03:26:59 PM »
Agreed, people need to take responsibility for there own stupidity. But at the same time fraud is fraud

Online Dysonboy

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2017, 10:41:44 PM »
If Dysons do not require service then how was I able to setup my mini-business:
K Y L E S D Y S O N
My mini-business came about from me seeing so many "faulty" dysons that need servicing. If they don't need servicing then why do vacuum servicers like yourself (ManchesterVacs) exist? Because they need some attention from time to time.
Some people really do confuse people at times by saying something thats untrue... *Cough trading standards cough*
Isn't it pretty much the same as saying your guitar never needs tuning! then why are there tuning screws and why do they NEED tuning?

Online MVacs

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2017, 04:28:24 PM »
Here are the items the BBC's Fake Britain programme did on the subject.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3W6HMXEkqI" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3W6HMXEkqI</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HDT5Wj6HWI" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HDT5Wj6HWI</a>

However, there are some untrue and misleading statements in there that pertain to the industry as a whole, and there is a counter article here: “Dyson Vacuum Cleaners Do Not Need Servicing” Yes or No? Read the Truth

Online Madrat

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Re: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2017, 11:05:05 PM »
I don't know what journalists and researchers do these days but they are bloody crap the lot of them.  :'(  :censored:  >:(

 

 

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