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Competition rules broken over mobility scooter pricing

OFT announces that Pride Mobility Products Ltd has infringed competition law

1 May 2014

On 27 March 2014, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced that Pride Mobility Products Limited (Pride), a manufacturer of mobility scooters, fell foul of competition rules after entering into arrangements with seven UK wide online retailers preventing them from selling Pride branded mobility scooters online and from advertising their prices online.

This infringement decision follows a similar finding in August last year that the scooter manufacturer, Roma Medical Aids Limited (Roma), had also acted to restrict consumer choice and push up product prices.

The OFT found that these practices limited consumers’ ability to compare prices and get value for money.
Research conducted by the OFT indicates that mobility scooters in general can vary in price by over £1000 for identical products, and reports suggest that in some cases this disparity in pricing is as high as £3000.
Gaucho Rasmussen, OFT Enforcement Director, said, “'The internet is a vitally important tool for consumers who wish to compare prices and secure value for money, particularly in the mobility scooters sector where many consumers may have difficulty in visiting a number of stores and where there is evidence that prices can vary dramatically
Sarah Moore, solicitor at Leigh Day, said: "By definition mobility scooters tend to be sold to individuals who may find it difficult to shop around physically, and these commercial practices appear to be cynically aimed at exploiting this vulnerability.
The most recent decision relates to the following models of Pride-branded mobility scooters: Colt Deluxe, Colt Executive, Colt Plus, Colt Twin, Colt XL8, Colt 9 and the Elite Traveller LX; and the decision against Roma concerns the following models of Roma branded scooters: Alcora, Corrella, Lyon, Granada, Sorrento and Vegas.

If you or a family member have purchased a mobility scooter with this branding, between 2010 and 2012, please contact Sarah Moore on 020 7650 1200 for advice.

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