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Author Topic: Duo convicted of major Dyson vacuum servicing fraud  (Read 525 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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

 

 

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