Burglar alarms ‘scaremongering’ warning

SUFFOLK Trading Standards are warning residents to remain vigilant when speaking to people offering free or cheap burglar alarms.

Officers have found that sales people are targeting residents over the telephone offering to install an alarm. However, they then insist on visiting the property the same day, claiming they only have a limited number of alarms available in the area.

Complaints have shown that they often do not mention hidden fees for monitoring, upkeep and rapid response facilities. Residents have then found themselves tied into a long contract agreement costing thousands of pounds, with companies using high-pressure tactics to scaremonger vulnerable people.

Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Protection said; “We are urging residents, especially elderly or vulnerable people, to remain on their guard when answering the phone or opening the door to a salesperson. Our advice is not to buy anything based on a cold call.

“If people are unsure or worried when speaking to someone selling a product, it is important for them to contact Consumer Direct immediately, who will offer advice and refer the case to Trading Standards’ officers to investigate.”

Anyone concerned about home security should contact their local Police Safer Neighbourhood Team by calling 101 or follow the advice of The British Security Industry Association http://www.bsia.co.uk who always recommend homeowners use a professional alarm installation company.