A director and a salesman from a security alarm firm, who used high pressure sales techniques, have received suspended jail terms and ordered to pay over £6,000 by Ipswich Crown Court.
Kevin Powell, 35, director of Security Hub Home Zone Limited, along with his employee; Barry Bradshaw, 42 were charged under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations concerning high pressure sale of security alarm systems in Suffolk.
Mr Powell received a sentence of eight months suspended for two years, 160 hours unpaid work to be completed within 12 months and ordered to pay a total sum of £4,500 victim compensation.
Bradshaw received an eight week suspended for 12 months, 80 hours unpaid work to be completed in a 12 month period and ordered to pay costs of £2000.
This sentencing follows an investigation by Suffolk Trading Standards after a complaint from a mother of two who had received a cold call from Security Hub Home Zone.
They claimed she was one of five households in the area to receive a free security system but this claim was false; the alarm was not free and she was given a “discount voucher code” which was offered to all potential victims but had no effect on the high price of the alarm system.
Once the victim agreed to a sales visit at her home, Mr Bradshaw, visited her property, used high pressure sales tactics and falsely claimed that her and her family were at risk. Then only 15 minutes after Mr Bradshaw left, a company engineer arrived and fitted the alarm system which tied the victim to a five year contract with the company.
Following contact from Suffolk Trading Standards, the company fully refunded an amount of £3,300. However it was found that other victims had also been mis-sold alarm systems and pressured into signing contracts for alarm installation.
Councillor Sarah Stamp, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities said: “This sentencing is very significant as Suffolk Trading Standards aim to put a stop to high pressure sales tactics. By rushing potential customers to purchase an alarm, Mr Powell and Mr Bradshaw did not give the victims time to make an informed decision, causing them to potentially make a decision they would not have made in the first place.
“If anyone is concerned about services, goods or products they have agreed to or purchased on their doorstep, advice is on hand from Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 040506. Vital information can then be passed on to Trading Standards to help stop rogue traders and work towards creating a Rogue Free Suffolk.”