A HUDDERSFIELD woman has urged local people to be on their guard for a team of salesmen she says use ‘high pressure’ techniques.
The woman, who does not wish to be identified, was concerned by a representative from SAS Fire and Security Systems who visited her elderly parents promoting a home monitoring safety system.
She says the man used Home Office statistics to suggest there was a high likelihood they would be burgled in Huddersfield – and offered a security system which cost a massive £20,000.
She said: “I had called my parents during lunch and my mum said a guy had been there for two hours trying to sell something.
“I asked had he been invited but they had just cold called initially and said they would send someone round the same day.
“It rang alarm bells because it smacked of desperation. I jumped in the car and went straight there.
“He had the figures and payment schedule. It would have cost them £26 a week for 15 years – that’s more than £20,000.
“The sales technique was definitely based on fear. He was using statistics from the Home Office and said they were living in a high risk area, but it isn’t.
“I checked the details on his card on the internet and there are some very negative comments about them.
“I challenged the salesman about the £26 a week and told him he had to be kidding.
“The worst thing was that he was trying to sell them something they already had.”
The Home Office has distanced itself from the organisation and the firm was recently ordered out of Scotland’s biggest Tesco store for placing canvassers on the site without permission.
The supermarket told the Daily Record they were thinking of putting up notices urging caution from people who may have given their details.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards said that while they did not have any formal complaints they would investigate any that were received.
A spokesman for SAS Fire and Security said: “SAS Fire and Security is the UK’s largest installer of home security systems.
“SAS provides its growing customer base with high-performance home security solutions, designed to protect its clients and their properties and to provide reassurance and peace of mind.
“An SAS security consultant visited the home of the couple concerned to survey their home and tailor a security system designed to meet their needs.
“A number of packages were offered to them; however they chose not to purchase.’’
SHOULD cold callers be shown the door?
That’s what a survey to homes in Marsden and Honley hopes to find out.
The letter asks whether residents want a ‘no cold calling zone’ established in their neighbourhood.
Such zones, which are already operating in Meltham, Kirkburton and Emley, effectively ban all doorstep traders from operating.
Residents have until March 12 to decide when, if approved, the zone will become effective.
Colne Valley and Holme Valley North area committees have provided money for implementing the scheme.
Colne Valley Area Committee chairman Clr Nicola Turner said: “I am very firmly behind the introduction of no cold calling zones in Honley and Marsden.
It is an initiative that is proven to work in Kirklees with successful schemes already running in Meltham, Kirkburton and Emley.
“We’re all aware of stories where vulnerable people have been taken advantage of by predatory door step traders.
“The no cold calling zone scheme reinforces the ‘don’t buy on the door step’ message to people and gives them the power to turn callers away knowing that they can report them to Trading Standards and that action will be taken.
“It also provides a big deterrent to rogue callers who know there is a greater chance of being picked up by the police.
“I encourage people to write in support of the proposal.”
The no cold calling scheme is run in partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards.