Midlands rogue security traders targeted

Rogue traders targeting homeowners with cheap deals on home burglar alarms and security have prompted a Midland-wide crackdown by trading standards officers.

Midlands rogue security traders targeted

Customers have lost £92,296 over the last 12 months in these deals, according to Central England Trading Standards which has received 116 complaints relating to burglar alarms.

Councils and trading standards officers are working with legitimate home security industry suppliers to reduce problems.

Over the last few years, a number of rogue traders, supplying burglar alarms and other home security devices, have been prosecuted and in some cases imprisoned.

Bob Charnley, who is Sandwell Trading Standards manager, said: "These rogue traders will usually cold call their victims by telephone, and claim to be part of an official crime reduction campaign or similar.

Trading standards officer Bob Charnley

"They will then offer 'free' or greatly discounted alarms and ask for a home visit.

"During the visit high-pressure sales tactics are used, including stating that this special offer will be lost if consumers don`t sign there.

"They also seek to evade the 14 day cancellation right afforded consumers when entering into contracts in their own home.

"What many consumers then find is that there are hidden costs for monitoring and maintenance which mean the installed alarm ends up costing thousands of pounds, and could have been purchased far cheaper elsewhere."

People can find out details on traders by visiting www.traderregister.org.uk

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