TRADING standards officers have hit out over rogue home security alarm fitters.
In the last 12 months, Central England Trading Standards Authorities (CenTSA) have received 116 complaints relating to burglar alarms, with a total loss to consumers of £92,296.
However, it is feared that the actual number of incidents is far higher than this.
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.
“These rogue traders will usually cold call their victims by telephone, and claim to be part of an official Crime Reduction campaign. They will then offer `free` or greatly discounted alarms and ask for a home visit,” said Warwickshire county councillor John Horner, portfolio holder for Community Safety.
“During the visit high pressure sales tactics are used, including stating that this special offer will be lost if consumers don`t sign there and then, and seeking to evade the 14 day cancellation right afforded to 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 means the installed alarm ends up costing thousands of pounds, and could have been purchased far cheaper elsewhere.”
The authority is urging householders to only use legitimate home security suppliers, many of whom are online at www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk .