The following is a message from Trading Standards
Trading Standards are warning Derbyshire residents to be aware of unsolicited telephone calls from businesses claiming to offer “free” burglar alarms, following a number of reports that such businesses are targeting elderly and vulnerable consumers in the county.
The callers may mislead people into believing that the alarms are ‘free’ and that the business is working with the police. They may also suggest that crime is rising in the consumer’s area. They will persuade people to have a subsequent home visit which in practice can become a pressurised sales pitch, often lasting for hours.
The alarms offered may well be free but the cost of maintaining and monitoring the system will be very expensive and the agreement can last for many years. Claims are also often made about alarms being directly linked to police stations, which is not the case.
Trading Standards advice is to be very cautious of such calls. If you do buy anything costing over £35 from a trader at your door, then the law gives you a 7 day “cooling off” period to change your mind. The trader must give you a written cancellation notice if you agree to buy the goods or service. Failure to give this notice is a crime.
If you are considering purchasing an alarm or other security system for your home then it is highly recommended that you obtain several quotes before making a commitment. You can also find reputable traders on the Derbyshire County Council Trusted Trader Scheme. Officers vet all traders on the scheme for trustworthiness and to ensure that they comply with consumer protection laws.
You can call Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline to report such activity and get advice about consumer issues. If you’re looking for a Trusted Trader contact Call Derbyshire on 08456 058058 or log on to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/trustedtrader