Leeds trader preyed on OAPs

Amanda Goor.
Amanda Goor.
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A disgraced mobility firm boss has been handed a 10-year county court trading ‘Asbo’ after her company was caught ripping off the old and disabled.

Amanda Goor, 30, of Middleton Road, Morley, Leeds, was disqualified as a director for five years in December 2009 for helping to cheat the elderly out of £3m while company secretary at More Than Mobility.

The company was wound up on public interest grounds following a six-month investigation that showed it employed “objectionable” sales tactics when selling electrically adjustable beds and chairs to customers with an average age of 79 – the eldest being 97.

Goor was back at court yesterday after more than 40 complaints were lodged with West Yorkshire Trading Standards about mobility firm Easynights Ltd trading as Made To Measure, where she currently works.

She signed an agreement to behave in business until 2021 at Leeds County Court yesterday, where she was told to pay £1,250 in court costs.

Goor could be jailed for up to two years and fined an unlimited sum if she is found breaking consumer laws within that time.

The joint West Yorkshire Trading Standards and Yorkshire Scambusters investigation into Made To Measure was launched when victims, aged from 69 to 95, including eight with short term memory loss, got in touch.

Officers discovered:

* Salesman had stayed excessive lengths of time in customers’ homes in order to close a deal;

* In seven cases customers had been driven to the bank to get funds, including one 86-year-old man who was taken to withdraw £7,720;

* An 85-year-old man with Alzheimer’s thought he had been charged £299 when the salesman wrote out a cheque on his behalf for £2,995;

* Customers were cold called by salesmen pretending to be from the social services, a hospital or Help The Aged;

* Salesmen claimed that they were carrying out a medical survey and offered medical advice on illnesses such as diabetes in a bid to arrange a home visit;

* Sellers falsely claimed that their products could help sleeping, provide pain relief, help arthritis, circulation and reduce high blood pressure;

* One woman was sold a 23 stone mobility scooter despite explaining that she would need to be able to lift it onto the bus;

* Customers were pressured into agreeing a sale with ‘one day only’ discounts of up to £1,000, and

* None of the goods were in fact ‘made to measure’.

Betty McGarroch, 82, from Wakefield, was cold called by Made To Measure last month.

The salesman talked his way into paying the woman a home visit in which he sold her a £1,495 single vibrating massage mattress to help her with her aches and pains.

He did not measure Mrs McGarroch, or her double bed.

The mattress, which lies on top of and to one side of her existing double mattress made the vertigo prone pensioner dizzy so she stopped using it.

She wants a refund. The company has offered her an exchange for a £5,000 chair, if she pays the £3,500 difference.

Mary Smith, 88, was cold called and later visited by a Made To Measure salesman in January, who also sold her a therapy mattress for £1,495.

When it arrived a week later it was not as ordered, so Mrs Smith wrote to the firm to cancel.

But Made To Measure has ignored her request.

Grandson Ian Smith has pursued the matter and is now attempting to get the money back through his bank.

A local retailer has confirmed that the mattress was not made to measure, and valued it at £79.

Easynights Ltd was incorporated on December 18 - just days after More Than Mobility was wound up by the Manchester High Court on December 9.

It had operated out of the same offices at Metro House on Pepper Road in Hunslet used by More Than Mobility, but it is now believed to have relocated to adjacent offices at Chengate House.

Goor was also found to have used the same poor practices when running sister companies Powermatic Adjustable Beds and Quality of Life (QoL).

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