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Be Aware Of Door Step Conmen.

Be Aware Of Door Step Conmen.

Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 2:22pm 16th August 2010. (Updated at 2:23pm 16th August 2010)

RESIDENTS WARNED TO TAKE CARE WITH DOORSTEP TRADERS

Residents are being asked to beware of companies selling security and fire alarms by using high pressure sales techniques

It has been brought to the attention of East Riding of Yorkshire Council's trading standards service that a company from the north west of England - which can not be named due to ongoing legal proceedings  - has been targeting elderly and vulnerable East Riding residents in the hope of supplying burglar or fire alarms at inflated prices.

Although the firm may offer to supply and install the alarms free of charge, the amount of money charged for monitoring and maintenance can run into thousands of pounds.

Colin Briggs, trading standards service manager, said: "When consumers are visited at home and agree a contract with the salesperson present, they should receive a notice of their cancellation rights.

"However, the vulnerable people targeted by these unscrupulous security firms have been encouraged to sign a declaration allowing work to begin straight away.  This means that the work has been done and payment made before the consumers have had time to think about the cost."

Councillor Jane Evison, portfolio holder for cultural services, housing and public protection, said: "Unfortunately disreputable firms often target older and more vulnerable residents by making unsolicited visits or telephone calls.  Residents should be aware of this and treat all uninvited callers with caution."

Vulnerable residents are advised to take the following steps when dealing with salespeople who visit them at home -

- Always use a security chain when opening the door.

- Check the identity of all callers.

- If visited by a salesperson who is not expected, residents can advise them, politely, that they do not buy goods or services as a result of cold calling and close the door.

- Ask a friend, neighbour or relative to be present if expecting a salesperson to call.

- Think carefully about whether the goods or services offered are wanted.

- Make sure to read any document before deciding whether to sign it.

- Always get at least three quotes to compare prices offered by different firms.

- If unhappy with the way a salesperson is behaving, ask them to leave.

Anyone who wishes to report an incident of this nature or who requires general consumer advice can contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

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