Conmen are using high pressure sales techniques and bogus claims about crime to scare vulnerable people into buying burglar alarms.
The initial telephone sales pitch often features hyped-up claims about burglaries in the area, designed to feed off people’s natural fear of crime.
Fitting of the alarm is said to be free with a charge for the monitoring and servicing of the system, but that can run into thousands of pounds.
Claims are also made that the alarm system is part of a Government scheme, in response to the British Crime Survey. However, Wigan Trading Standards warns this is simply a trick used to get a foot in the door.
Cllr. Paul Prescott, Wigan Council’s champion for lifestyles, says:
“We would urge people to be on their guard. Don’t buy anything based on a cold call and if you intend to make a major purchase always research the market and get quotes from reputable companies. If you have a complaint about a business or an individual trader, the first port of call should be to Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06, who will offer appropriate advice.”
Wigan Trading Standards is keen to point out that consumers have a legal right to cancel any contract within seven days – known as the ‘cooling-off’ period - whether it is made at their own home, at someone else's home, or at their place of work.