Healthcare supplement company ordered into liquidation in the High Court after it was found to have taken advantage of elderly and vulnerable customers.
Vivid Lifestyle Ltd (Vivid) was incorporated in July 2013 and its? registered office was in Hounslow, West London.
The company started business in 2014, selling nutritional supplement tablets wholly to UK customers before broadening its operations to international markets. By 2017, the majority of its sales were to customers in Australia and New Zealand.
Vivid enjoyed significant turnover, reaching over ?1 million in 2017, with a gross profit margin of 91.4%, and sat in the centre of a multi-national trading operation, co-ordinating the activities of a telesales centre in India and a distribution centre in Reading.
Following complaints, however, the Insolvency Service launched an investigation into the Vivid?s activities and petitioned to the courts to wind up the company.
The court heard that Vivid?s customers, which included a significant proportion of elderly and vulnerable patients, were misled as to the worth and likely effects of the tablets sold to them at huge mark ups.
Vivid employed highly pressurised and persistent sales practices and techniques, including telesales callers making false claims to be qualified to give medical advice.
The court also heard that Vivid appeared to have abused customers bank and credit card information. Customers were charged for items they did not order, were told they had not paid for items when they had and were charged for repeat sales which they had not requested. In some cases, customers simply paid in order to be rid of the callers.
Vivid was wound up by the High Court Business and Property Courts in Manchester on 29 August 2018 and at the hearing, for which no company representatives were present, District Judge Matharu said she found Vivid?s manner of procuring business and payment ?quite disgusting?.
there is layer upon layer of taking advantage of those most least able or prepared to deal with the nature of the communications.
DJ Matharu said that the company ?must be stopped?, and duly made an order that the company be placed into compulsory liquidation with the Official Receiver appointed as Liquidator.
Investigation Supervisor Irshard Mohammed, of the Insolvency Service, said:
The Insolvency Service has taken action against a significant number of companies selling everyday vitamin tablets to the elderly and infirm as a cure for whatever ails them. We will continue to do so.
Members of the public should be wary of anyone calling them, or their elderly or vulnerable friends or relatives, looking to sell them expensive medicines over the telephone.