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Buying In Person In The Uk

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Posted

A few years ago I plucked up the courage to go and buy some nappies from a mobility shop rather than buying online as I ususally do. I thought it would be an easy job; walk in, ask, buy and walk back out again. Unfortauntely the chap in the shop wanted to know who they were for so he could add the details to a mailing list for a catalogue and then started to write out an invoice which he wanted an address for. I got through it (with a bright red face of course) but it's hardly the annoymous, quick purchase that I think many of us would prefer.

It might have been me being really unlucky that time around but I get the feeling there might be others that have ended up in a similar situation. I was just wondering, how have other folks handled the customer service side that these places seem to provide? Do you think it's just best to be completely upfront about who they're for and tell them that you don't wish to discuss it further?

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I have avoided such places for that very reason mate. Sorry that you went through it... its like you cant just buy something these days, they want your details for every damn thing.

I got a £20 radio/alarm clock, and the pushy BA***rd wanted my details and such to take out insurance... guess how much? £20.

But it was very brave of you, i dont think many of our american play friends realise thats just about the only place in the uk you can get em over the counter. we dont have racks of adult nappies in super markets.. more is the pity

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Sometimes it's for insurance; for warranty info here (usa) on auto parts. It is a hassle at times. Some companys use it to track sales for the area.

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LilFozzyJ5......we are in the same boat here in the states.....while there are racks of products in supermarkets and the big stores.....most are not diapers.....they are cloth backed pull ups....and the few diapers they do sell are also cloth backed or really low qualitity plastic backed diapers like Depends or private label store brands....the only place to buy decent diapers in stores are medical supply stores...I've given up on buying diapers in stores years ago and only buy on the internet....plus the price is better....

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A few years ago I plucked up the courage to go and buy some nappies from a mobility shop rather than buying online as I ususally do. I thought it would be an easy job; walk in, ask, buy and walk back out again. Unfortauntely the chap in the shop wanted to know who they were for so he could add the details to a mailing list for a catalogue and then started to write out an invoice which he wanted an address for. I got through it (with a bright red face of course) but it's hardly the annoymous, quick purchase that I think many of us would prefer.

It might have been me being really unlucky that time around but I get the feeling there might be others that have ended up in a similar situation. I was just wondering, how have other folks handled the customer service side that these places seem to provide? Do you think it's just best to be completely upfront about who they're for and tell them that you don't wish to discuss it further?

actually it was more likely he wanted to know who they were for so he could apply vat exemption, this despite the fact that anybody should be able to walk in from off the street and buy upto 200 pads without any hassle.

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I have avoided such places for that very reason mate. Sorry that you went through it... its like you cant just buy something these days, they want your details for every damn thing.

I got a £20 radio/alarm clock, and the pushy BA***rd wanted my details and such to take out insurance... guess how much? £20.

But it was very brave of you, i dont think many of our american play friends realise thats just about the only place in the uk you can get em over the counter. we dont have racks of adult nappies in super markets.. more is the pity

That sounds awful LilFozzy :( and I understand what you went through (although your experience sounds like it was far worse than mine). It really is a shame because there seems to be quite a lot of these little mobility shops around in the local area so it would be really handy if they could actually be used without any hassle.

I would never expect the supermarkets to stock adult nappies but it would be great if the larger chains of chemists would stock a decent range. The bonus there is that the bigger branches seem to all have self service checkouts now. We can only hope that it may change in the future, although it's probably unlikely :rolleyes:

actually it was more likely he wanted to know who they were for so he could apply vat exemption, this despite the fact that anybody should be able to walk in from off the street and buy upto 200 pads without any hassle.

I think I remember the chap mentioning something about the VAT exemption at the time. Thanks for mentioning the 200 pad limit FlexiGirl, I didn't realise that was the case so it's even more annoying now that he actually started writing out an invoice for a single bag of 14, especially as he could probably tell it was uncomfortable for me to be there.

There's plenty of stuff in other shops on the highstreet which has no VAT charged on it. If everywhere else did this, there would be very long queues at the tills! You'd have thought these places would have cottoned on to the fact that people buying these types of things in small quantities are likely to want a discreet service as there's a chance that there going to be for personal use or for a family member and if there's no need for an invoice, what's the point in writing one out (sorry for the little rant there!)

Interesting to hear that things might not be that great in the U.S. either. Like LilFozzy, I thought that decent adult nappies were available from the supermarkets. It sounds like those medical supply stores aren't going to be much different from the mobility stores we have over here. Hope I'm wrong on that though.

Why does something so simple have to be such a pain in the neck to buy over the counter!

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V.A.T. exemption is only if you are spending over £200, if you are asked for details you are not obliged to give them.

It is a problem buying over the counter in this country but do what I do tell them that you are buying for somebody that has a medical problem and that you are not allowed to give out their details due to the data protection act and client confidentiality. If you refuse they usually back down as they don't want to loose the sale.

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I've just said I don't want to fill in the form and will pay the VAT before, another time they said they would put it in the name of someone who worked there who qualified as disabled.

Tempted to just say that I don't want to tell the taxman that I wear nappies... the person on the counter isn't to know whether or not I actually need them! I've always been wary of actually lying on the form and saying I have a condition which requires them, as I have thoughts of the Inland Revenue going through my medical records to check etc...

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Sometimes it's for insurance; for warranty info here (usa) on auto parts. It is a hassle at times. Some companys use it to track sales for the area.

For all UK peeps - please refuse to do business with companies whose stores require you to hand over this kind of information unnecessarily. In the UK there are loads of places that try it on without any good reason - Comet, ScrewFix Direct, and a bunch of other stores will ask for your address as part of the sales process and many people stupidly hand their details over without objecting. Simply say "I'm not willing to provide that information" and if they push the issue stand your ground and insist that if they are not willing to sell the goods without taking details, you won't be buying from them. Every time I've done this they have backed down with one exception - a store called "Phones4You" (where, after 15 mins faffing about with the attendant, I walked out, across the road to the O2 store and got a phone there).

Arguably this practice should be regulated against, but ... well, I'm sure the lobbyists are getting a nice wad of cash from the retailers to keep the situation as it is now.

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The point is they should not be requesting anything from you at all unless it was obvious you were buying for a business like a nursing home.Then vat would be rightly payable

The fact you may not need the product for a genuine medical need is irrelevant. For all they know you could have adult enuresis.

Eligible incontinence products, for retail sale, are zero-rated on the shelf. In practice, this means that there is no requirement for the customer to provide a written declaration to the retailer confirming they are eligible for VAT relief.

Supplies of eligible incontinence products over the Internet or by mail order also qualify for VAT relief providing they are made to individuals and not institutions.

We will expect retailers, Internet and mail order suppliers to have a signed declaration, or other supporting evidence that the supply is to an incontinent individual and not to an institution such as a nursing home, for customers who buy more than:

  • 200 disposable pads;

  • 50 washable pads;

  • 5 collecting devices; or

  • 10 pairs of waterproof or leak-proof underwear.

http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageLibrary_ShowContent&id=HMCE_CL_000184&propertyType=document

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A question for those people who have bought nappies in a mobility shop.

What brands do they stock?

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A question for those people who have bought nappies in a mobility shop.

What brands do they stock?

Mostly Abena, Tena and Molicare.

In- and Outdoor living in Crowthorne (looks like a DIY and gardening shop) never asked for any details. Just ask, pay and off you go. Highly recommended.

I used to buy at 'hearing and mobility', but they've closed every branch around me. And they always wanted name and address and I still sometimes get a catalog from them.

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Over the years that I have been buying disposables and plastic pants over the counter I've had this sort of thing happen regularly.

There is a Chemist / pharmacie in the town close to where I live and they are the only people near me that stock this kind of stuff.

Years ago when I first discoverd that they actually did keep a small stock of disposables and would order other brands for you.

They always had Depends Fitter briefs on the shelf and kept Sandra plastic pants in stock.

When I used to go there at first, I would try and park close and sit in the car watching people going in and out, waiting for the shop to be quiet.

Then I would nip over there, grab a pack of fitted briefs take them to the counter and pay for them.

The 20/25 year old Lady behind the counter was always pleasant and usually just said how much they were put the package in a big plastic bag took payment then gave me my change said Goodbye and I retreated back to the car.

I would often go in to that shop and ask the same Lady for plastic pants and she would ask what size? then get them, say how much they were, take payment, give me my change, say goodbye.

This went on for a few months and it was easy for me to go and buy my stuff from the shop, which I did quite regularly.

Until one day when I entered the shop the lady on the counter said the pharmacist would like a word with you.

I nearly ran out of the shop, but never, I was lead through to the back of the shop where this older man with a beard and glasses said I've noticed that you buy continence goods on a regular basis, I wanted to check if the person using these has had medical advice, What I mean is in the U.K if you need stuff like that on a regular bassis they should be supplied to you.

Also if it's bedwetting or a medical condition it should be checked out by a medical professional. for possible treatment may be the cause can be found and treated. He wrote a name and a telephone number on a piece of paper and said This is the contact number for the local continance service and the lassies are very nice to deal with and very experianced. Give them a ring and explain what is going on and they will sort you out.

I was lead back through to the shop and paid for my purchases and retreated back to my car, very shaken by what had just happened.

I was thinking that I would have to avoid that shop in future

This all took place years before anyone had computers and could order stuff online and I'm sure the Guy had my best interests in mind , but it was very stressfull and I'd lost my local supply.

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Jbz2079, good man, for not running and sitting it out!

I find, that if anyone in the shop asks something like that, it helps to have something plausible ready. One routine could be, you get them indeed delivered by the NHS contractor, but they are not the very best (flattering the shop's products). So when you get the chance and come past here occasionally (telling the pharmacist that you're not local and won't be a regular), I like to buy some better quality for a good price (flattery again) to supplement my normal stock. Then ask if they have another, comparable brand in stock (who does the talking leads the conversation and sets the direction). Have a quick look at the time, go like 'oops, I'm running late' and he won't have had a big chance to embarrass you.

Or just say they're for you, you wet yourself sometimes. And yes, you got an appointment with the doctor.

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Jestsol chemist in Canning Town, East London have a good stock of pads and all in one adult size nappies. I went on their website yesterday and phoned them with an order. I gave them the reference (Lille maxi in mediums) and for a case of 20 it's £14.50. They get delivered to the shop from the warehouse this morning and I'll go collect them later.......saying they're for my F.I.L should I be asked :D

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Update:

It seems that the chemist is the main stop off point for the nearby health centre patients. I wandered by at first and saw that the chemist was rather busy so I sat in my car for 20 minutes and then went in when there were only 3 other people there. I met the guy who took the order on the phone and he briefly took the pack of Lille Maxi out of the plain box to show me before directing me to the till and giving me a written receipt.

I walked out with the plain box, put it in the boot of my car and drove away happy :)

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Yes it can be done!-lol

It's just sometimes it gets a bit Sticky.

When you get practiced i buying in person it gets easier, right up till you turn around to leave and guy who works with you is standing behind you!

Of course the were not for me-lol

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I buy either online or at a huge distance; France is near enough for me! I'm terrified I might meet someone I know while buying them. I once got trapped in a queue on a shop behind the slowest woman I have ever seen. It took her four or five times longer than anyone else to open her purse, count the money, and pay the till girl, and I was in line behind her and getting frantic.

Oh for the days when Lisa opened her ABDL nappy shop in Dagenham every Saturday! It was worth a trip out there, and there would only be two or three other customers in the place. The only time it was crowded was on the closing afternoon when there was a party atmosphere. She had a good range of nappies, disposable, plastic pants etc, but a bit heavy on the fetish side.

Emma's little lock-up in Manchester was nothing like as good, and I believe he was hounded out by red-necks.

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I've just told them they're for me then been very vague on any details and flat out lie about my personal info. Usually I just change a few numbers here and there, I'm certain there's people on my street get incontinence booklets because of me.

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Thank god for Amazon is all I can say.

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actually it was more likely he wanted to know who they were for so he could apply vat exemption, this despite the fact that anybody should be able to walk in from off the street and buy upto 200 pads without any hassle.

It's not as easy as that, they HAVE to be registered having a disability or medical condition and for personal use with the HM Revenue & Customs, or they face severe penalities is what I've read on many sites selling incontience products.

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Also my very local area has 2 chemists in the same high street.

The small chemist and only sells Tena pants pullups,Drynites and babies nappies.

You can buy in there, the people who serve in there don't ask questions or give funny looks.

The much larger chemist,I've seen Tena slip maxi and Tena slip super in there, Lille supreme fit maxi, Lille insert pads and plastic pants, all at expensive prices (like £20 ish for the Tena slip maxis), but then it works out the same when you pay postage for them online.

As well as the Drynites,Tena pants pullups and babies nappies.

Some questions asked and odd looks once (I bought a pack of each once, and they must have knew it was for me).

Especially as I was shaking,sweating and had a red face.

But carrying them home was easy as I brought along a very large bag from from John Lewis to put them in to hide them.

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I've bought at a local mobility shop before and I just ask for a particular brand and size which I have written on a piece of paper with me, works a treat as it then looks as if you have no idea exactly what you are buying!

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In the states, where I live, I have no problem going into the drugstore (as we call them) buying what I need and leave. I rarely get funny looks or if I do I don't pay attention. I don't really care what other people think...I guess being incontinent has made me desensitized to it. It could be for my grandmother for all they know or presumably care. I do really prefer to order online, because it seems like the stuff I want for daytime use is never available.It makes my life less complicated. I am glad that I don't get harassed by staff at the stores asking who it is for or if I should seek medical attention. That would get annoying in a hurry. :D

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I have not routinely bought any adult diapers in a store since 1988. By then several dealers were selling the smaller Attends I need by snail mail and/or phone orders. At the same time physical stores were concentrating on medium and larger adult diapers. Back in the day when I was buying Attends in stores I never felt harassed.

These days I buy lots of Pampers in stores, always Size 4 Cruisers or Extra Protection. Perhaps strangers assume I am the grandmother or had a baby when I was past 40. I could care less. The managers of the two stores where I buy the bulk of my Pampers have known me for years. Certainly, if they cared, they would have concluded my baby has not grown over the years. Probably all they want is to be sure my credit card charges are approved by the computer.

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