Rogue trader warning from Shropshire furniture store bosses.

People could be putting their lives at risk by buying “recovered and dangerous mattresses” from rogue traders, bosses at a Shropshire furniture store have warned.

The warning comes as the National Bed Federation launched its “Approved Logo Scheme” in order to protect shoppers from spending hundreds of pounds on unsafe mattresses.

Shrewsbury-based Alan Ward - one of the largest bed retailers in the county - has backed the new approved scheme to help shoppers across the region avoid becoming a victim of rogue trader scams.

Debbie Pitcher, manager of the bed department at Alan Ward’s flagship furniture department store on Ennerdale Road in Harlescott said: “It seems to be an increasing problem where we hear that someone has bought what they believe to be a top quality mattress from someone from the back of a van and within a few weeks they realise it was actually a mattress which had been used before.”

She added: “Often what they are actually buying is a mattress that had been discarded, intercepted on its way to disposal and simply put in to a cheap new cover.

“Some traders are even using the logos of well-known manufacturers and retailers on their vans to further fool consumers.

“We want our customers to buy with confidence and they can do this by making sure they purchase a bed from a reputable retailer displaying the National Bed Federation approved logo.”

Mrs Pitcher said the health issue is important but also some of the mattresses being sold do not meet UK flammability regulations.

“All the UK bed manufacturers we stock comply with the Federation’s code of practice on flammability, health and hygiene and trade descriptions,” she said.

The National Bed Federation introduced the scheme to give consumers reassurance that the products they buy are safe, clean and honest.

The organisation says hundreds, possibly thousands, of so-called 'bargain mattresses' are being sold across the country each week, often from the back of vans by rogue traders touring neighbourhoods and looking for opportunist sales.

But often they are simply discarded old mattresses that have been recovered.

“In fact in many cases they have turned out to be mattresses, probably taken from a skip, and covered in material and then covered in polythene ready for sale. They are often damp, mouldy and certainly a health hazard,” said Mrs Pitcher.

Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council cabinet member for public protection said doorstep crime remained an ongoing concern in Shropshire.

He said: “We would advise consumers not to act on impulse when traders call unexpectedly to their door but to think carefully and compare prices before agreeing to buy anything.

“We would also advise against buying from unknown sources as you may not get exactly what you expect; the goods may be stolen or counterfeit and possibly even dangerous as they may not have been subject to the appropriate safety checks.

“Should a problem develop after purchase it may be very difficult to try and claim a refund. 

“Consumers should always remember that a doorstep seller’s aim is to make a sale and consequently some can be extremely persuasive.

“Our advice to anyone under pressure from a doorstep caller would be to tell them that you need to discuss it with someone else before making a decision and to politely close the door.”

For more advice on mattresses and beds email [email protected] or call 01743 462000 Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm or Sunday from 10.30am to 5pm.

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