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Company called "Willowbrook" The sell reclineing chairs

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Company called "Willowbrook" The sell reclineing chairs

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in I wanna buy-it or do-it
16 replies 19.8K views
seanmckeeverseanmckeever Forumite
29 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in I wanna buy-it or do-it
Hi all............

Has anyone ever been sold reclineing chairs from a company called Willowbrook.

My father has just had a visit from a sales man telling him that he has won second prise in a competition entitleing him to 35% discount + £150.00 delivery charge on a Newhampton Recliner chair.
(He did enter a competition in a magazine)

The full retail cost of this chair taking into consideration his requirements and his needs (He has pains in his back and legs) would be £4,100.00.

Any comments please.
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Replies

  • kuohukuohu Forumite
    913 posts
    Part of the Furniture
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    I'd ask for the £150. :p

    Sounds like a bit of a scam.
    DFW Nerd 035
  • CON!

    £4100 for a reclining chair!!! !!!!!!!

    Don't let the salesman scam your father.

    Tell him you'll take 35% of £4100 in cash as a prize instead!

    Read this link here....

    http://www.which.co.uk/reports_and_campaigns/consumer_rights/reports/Case%20studies/Goods%20related/Unsuitable%20goods/unsuitable_goods_case_studies_report_657_77816_3.jsp

    notice anything familiar???
    British Ex-pat in British Columbia!
  • Thanks iainkirk....

    By the way my mother had called me while the sales man was in the house and I had spoke to him on the phone.

    I did aske him what was the 1st prise. He did`nt know as he only had been given the contact details of the 2nd prise winner`s.
    When I asked him how many 2nd prise winners were they, he said that my father was the only one in this area to which I replyed "Well how many 2nd prise winners were there in the uk"? He again did`nt know.

    I then sugested that "was it possible that everyone that entered the competition won a 2nd prise. No was his answer.....

    After I took most of his details and all the information that he had told my father regarding how this chair would help my fathers pains, including medical reasons however he did admit that he did not have any qualifications in any medical field when I pressed him in on this matter.

    He`s now on his bike!!

    Regards.
  • I too entered a competion on a flyer to win a reclining chair/bed. The flyers are common in magazines for Arthritis or British Legion, (ones they assume older readers to have). I forgot about this and got a phone call months later saying I had won second prize and could someone come round and demonstrate. I declined saying we had just had a bereavement in the family and i couldn't think about this at the time. No problem she said, I'll ring you back in aboout 6 months, it will still be valid. To me this smacked of being a scam, especially when i looked in mobility shops at prices - way cheaper. I now give the leaflets a wide birth when they turn up.
    Trying to stay on the wagon with a FlyLady Daily Fix :j:j:j





  • The chair looks and feels great but a price of £2600 (reduced from £4600 after "2nd prize win") can't really be justified.
    High pressure selling!!
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  • BigglesBiggles Forumite
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    We went looking at powered recliner chairs, those with the full 'rise and lift' action. The top makes were generally around £1,000 or so.

    Sure, they weren't 'made to measure' for you but with so many designs on the market you should be able to find a suitable one at less than half Willowbrook's 'discounted' price.
  • Paul_VarjakPaul_Varjak Forumite
    4.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
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    I too, 'won' a second prize of 35% discount off one of these Willowbrook recliner chairs. After reading the various medical claims and endorsements made in the brochures about these chairs I complained to the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority).

    Today I received a letter from the ASA with a 'draft recommendation'. That draft recommendation is confidential but you should, hopefully, be able to read the full adjudication on the ASA website within a month, if the ASA 'Council' endorses that draft recommendation.
    Any opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
  • Paul_VarjakPaul_Varjak Forumite
    4.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Combo Breaker
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    The ASA Council agreed with the draft recommendation and this will be published on the ASA website on 19th August.

    www.asa.org.uk
    Any opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
  • These competitions are common practise in companys selling to elderly and disabled people. I used to work for a company selling a product (I wont say what) to elderly and disabled people. The company advertised a monthly prize draw to get peoples details and then would get in touch with them to confirm their details, have a chat and offer a free demo ect. By the sound of it that chair is very overpriced. The company I used to work for would buy the product in for a couple of hundered pounds and would usually sell for about 3.5k, although this price would come down if needed to get the sale. I imagine this company is working in a very similar way.

    I like to think this isn't the case with all these companys but in the first year that I worked for this company, no one won the monthly prize draw, a few people did win after that but it certainly wasn't one a month.

    Feline Princess
  • Paul_VarjakPaul_Varjak Forumite
    4.7K posts
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    Ad
    A brochure for recliner chairs stated "Willowbrook is one of the few companies that have manufactured a large range of lift and recliner chairs specifically designed for the invalid or physically disabled user in a patient care or patient handling environment. Our research team and designers have developed a stylish range of recliner chairs which combine therapy and practicality with comfort and beauty. Willowbrook's elegant and comfortable recliner chairs are recommended by the medical profession and are proven to be indispensable to sufferers of numerous medical conditions". Headline text stated "Approved by a Harley Street surgeon" and further text underneath stated "Willowbrook products are endorsed by a respected orthopaedic surgeon and are designed following in-depth research and ergonomic study to combine therapy with comfort and beauty. A Willowbrook recliner chair should be experienced by sufferers of: Stress and tension; Arthritic pain; Aches and pains; Back pain; Mobility problems & many other conditions".

    The brochure featured several testimonials, including "Arthritis: '... all 3 kinds of arthritis are less painful ...' ... 'My husband is so thrilled with his new recliner, having suffered with arthritis for many years he now has a better quality of life' ... Back pain: 'The chair has been a boon to me, it's so comfortable and my back pain has improved' ... Mobility difficulties: 'Since I have had the chair I feel a great less pain in my knees and can now get up without strain. With the massage my back is also much improved'". Further text stated "Medically endorsed massage therapy at the touch of a button ... The benefits of this therapy feature are vast and are endorsed by the orthopaedic and chiropractic professions".

    Issue
    The complainant challenged whether:

    1. the claims "[Willowbrook] recliner chairs are recommended by the medical profession", "Approved by a Harley Street surgeon. Willowbrook products are endorsed by a respected orthopaedic surgeon", "Medically endorsed massage therapy" and "The benefits of this therapy feature are vast and are endorsed by the orthopaedic and chiropractic professions" were misleading and could be substantiated;

    2. the brochure misleadingly implied that the advertiser's products could treat some of the conditions listed, including arthritis, mobility problems and back pain.

    The CAP Code:


    3.1;7.1;7.2;14.2;14.3;50.1;50.7;50.3



    Response
    1. Willowbrook Ltd (Willowbrook) said the brochure made no direct claim that the recliner chairs were endorsed by Harley Street: the endorsement claim related only to their adjustable beds. They sent a letter from a Harley Street consultant orthopaedic surgeon, who endorsed their beds.

    2. Willowbrook said the brochure did not state that their products could treat medical conditions, but that their recliner chairs "should be experienced" by sufferers of particular conditions. Willowbrook explained that their recliner chairs were designed to take the strain from the arms and knees when getting in or out of a chair, from which people with arthritis would naturally benefit. Willowbrook said they received hundreds of testimonial letters from satisfied customers, whose aches and pains had been relieved by their products.

    Assessment
    1. Upheld
    The ASA noted that the brochure was for Willowbrook's recliner chairs only and did not feature any of their other products. We considered, in that context, that the claims "Approved by a Harley Street surgeon. Willowbrook products are endorsed by a respected orthopaedic surgeon", "medically endorsed massage therapy" and "the benefits of this therapy feature are ... endorsed by the orthopaedic and chiropractic professions" would be understood by consumers to mean that the riser recliner chairs were endorsed by a Harley Street surgeon and other medical practitioners. We considered that that impression was reinforced by the claim "Willowbrook's ... recliner chairs are recommended by the medical profession". We considered that the letter from the Harley Street orthopaedic surgeon endorsing Willowbrook's adjustable bed was not suitable to support claims that would be understood as referring to recliner chairs in particular. Because we had not seen evidence that showed that the recliner chairs were approved by a Harley Street surgeon or other medical practitioner, we concluded that the brochure was misleading.

    On this point the brochure breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 and 7.2 (Truthfulness) and 14.2 (Testimonials and endorsements).

    2. Upheld
    We noted the brochure referred to arthritis and back pain, among others, which we considered were serious conditions. We considered that some of the customer testimonials in the brochure, in particular the claims "all 3 kinds of arthritis are less painful ...", "having suffered with arthritis for many years he now has a better quality of life" and "my back pain has improved", alongside the reference to "therapy", created the impression that the recliner chairs provided relief from, or treatment for, the named serious conditions. We considered that the testimonials alone were not sufficient to substantiate the implied claim that the recliner chairs could help relieve or treat those serious conditions, and we also considered that the reference to "therapy" should have been qualified to make it clear that the recliner chairs might provide temporary positional relief only. Because it did not, and because we had not seen any evidence that the recliner chairs could relieve or treat the names serious conditions, we concluded that the brochure was misleading.

    On this point the brochure breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 and 7.2 (Truthfulness), 14.3 (Testimonials and endorsements) and 50.1, 50.3 and 50.7 (Health and beauty products and therapies).

    Action
    The brochure must not appear again in its current form. We told Willowbrook not to state that their recliner chairs, or products in general, were endorsed by a Harley Street surgeon or other medical practitioners. We also told Willowbrook not to make unqualified claims that their recliner chairs offered therapy to consumers, or to imply that their products could treat the serious conditions listed.

    Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)
    Any opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.
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