Councillor Peter Boyack, South Tyneside Council's Lead Member for Neighbourhood Services, today (Monday 29th March) warned residents to be on their guard against unsolicited telephone callers selling burglar alarm systems.
He says: "Our Trading Standards service is receiving enquiries from residents concerned that the initial caller gives the impression that the sellers are 'police approved'. They also state that the Police will not call out to existing alarm installations but give the impression that the Police will respond to their systems."
Advice from Trading Standards is that the Police do not formally approve ANY installer, they suggest that residents should use installers who are registered with NSI (National Security Inspectorate) or SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board), the 'trade associations' for burglar alarm installers.
Their advice is:
- NEVER buy anything as a result of an unsolicited call.
- ALWAYS shop around and obtain at least three quotations.
- If you buy a system as a result of an unsolicited call the trader MUST give you WRITTEN cancellation rights.
- If you are paying cash you have seven days to cancel any agreement.
- If purchasing on credit you have seven days from your receipt of the second copy of the signed agreement from the credit company.
Councillor Boyack adds: "There is a Private Members Bill currently being promoted in Parliament to ban this method of selling so until the law is changed residents should exercise extreme caution in contracting to traders using unsolicited sales methods. This is why we set up our Safetrader scheme on South Tyneside so that our residents do not need to deal with unsolicited doorstep /telephone approaches selling home improvement services."