National disability charity condemns online retailer amid torrent of customer complaints
An online retailer specialising in selling sensory equipment for disabled children has been denounced by Scope for its “deplorable behaviour” as families and carers accuse the firm of being a scam.
Recently the subject of a Daily Mail report, Birmingham-based Sensory Education Ltd, selling from its website www.cheapdisabilityaids.co.uk, has been operating since 2014, following the dissolution of Cheap Disability Aids Ltd – another company owned by the directors.
The organisation specialises in selling specialist sensory items designed for disabled children to parents, charities and the NHS says the company, offering sensory lights and sensory toys at what it calls amazing everyday prices.
A number of the company’s customers, however, have turned to review site Trust Pilot to air their grievances, with many highlighting that placed orders were often late or wrong, alongside issues with refunds and returns.
One of the most common issues raised by disgruntled consumers is the struggle to contact the company, with many stating emails go unanswered for long periods of time and the customer service telephone line fails to connect to anyone in the company.
THIIS tried to call Sensory Education on multiple occasions over the space of a couple of days in response to the allegations but received the same, automated response, followed by a disconnection: “Thank you for calling Sensory Education. We are experiencing a high volume of calls at present and at this time, a member of staff cannot answer your call. We anticipate this volume of calls will last a couple of days. Please email any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting your order number and query. Any returns queries can be done online using www.returnsmadeeasy.co.uk”
The returns web address, however, sends individuals to what seems to be a deadlink.
As reported by Money Mail, a number of customers were forced to turn to their credit card and debit card companies to claim back the funds, as well as having complaints they have posted on social media deleted and removed by the company.
On the online sensory seller’s website, it boasts a 4.8-star rating out of five on its own review system, standing in stark contrast to its 2-star rating on independent review site Trust Pilot.
Responding to the report, Jessica Leigh, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Scope, told the Daily Mail: “This is deplorable behaviour. It is unacceptable that families are paying a premium because of disabilities, but to get the brush-off from rip-off merchants with shoddy goods is inexcusable.
“The case should be fully investigated, and those responsible held to account.”
In addition, the national newspaper reports that Sensory Education may also be falsely using Walsall council’s logo on the website to endorse its connection to local authorities, with Walsall Council stating it does not have a corporate contract with the company.
Not a British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) member, the alleged problems facing Sensory Education’s customers has led to some in the industry pointing to the importance of the BHTA’s Code of Practice and reinforcing why consumers should work with BHTA-member companies.
Angus Long, Director of Impression Marketing, told THIIS: “This is a sad story and unfortunately when it comes to shoddy shops and dodgy dealers, the disabled are not immune. Another reason why consumers should seek to use BHTA-member companies where membership requires adherence to a Trading Standards approved Code of Practice.”
Recommending people only buy from companies who are members of the BHTA and are governed by its Code, Lord Chris Rennard, Director of Communications at BHTA, commented: “Vulnerable people and those supporting them need protection. The Chartered Trading Standards Institute approve our Code, enabling consumers to buy with confidence.”https://thiis.co.uk/national-disability-charity-condemns-online-retailer-amid-torrent-of-customer-complaints/https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/OTs-Perspective-sensory-products-new.jpg?fit=850%2C550&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/OTs-Perspective-sensory-products-new.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1NewsroomRetailer NewsThird SectorAngus Long,BHTA,British Healthcare Trades Association,Cheap Disability Aids,deplorable behaviour,impression marketing,online retailer,Retailer,Scope,Sensory equipment,Trust PilotAn online retailer specialising in selling sensory equipment for disabled children has been denounced by Scope for its “deplorable behaviour” as families and carers accuse the firm of being a scam. Recently the subject of a Daily Mail report, Birmingham-based Sensory Education Ltd, selling from its website www.cheapdisabilityaids.co.uk, has been...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine