Guilty pleas from ‘high pressure’ alarm system sale company pair
A company boss and employee have admitted using high pressure tactics to sell security alarms in Ipswich.
Kevin Powell, 35, director of Security Hub Home Zone Limited, and salesman Barry Bradshaw, 42, each pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court under Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.
Suffolk Trading Standards officers were called to investigate a complaint from an Ipswich based mother of two, who had received a cold call from Security Hub Home Zone, claiming she was one of five households in the area to receive a free system.
She was then given a ‘discount voucher code’, offered to all potential victims, which had no effect on the high price of the alarm system.
She agreed to a sales visit to her home, where Mr Bradshaw used high pressure sales tactics and falsely claimed she and her family were at risk. Fifteen minutes after he left with the victim’s signature on a five-year contract, a company engineer arrived to fit the alarm system.
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Following contact from Suffolk Trading Standards, the company fully refunded £3,300 – but it was found that other victims had been pressured into signing up for installation by Powell’s company and his salesman, Bradshaw.
An independent security consultant inspected one victim’s alarm and concluded that the system was not bespoke, as Powell’s company and salesman suggested, but one that could be bought off the shelf. Neither was it installed to a professional standard.
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It was also revealed that Powell and his company faced forthcoming prosecution for similar offences in a different county.
Sarah Stamp, Suffolk County Council’s communities chief, said: “These men continued to behave in an unacceptable manner, using misleading tactics and encouraging victims to sign for alarm systems that they did not need without legally providing a contractual ‘cooling off’ period.
“By pressurising customers to purchase an alarm, they were denying them the time to make an informed decision, causing them to potentially make a decision they would not have made in the first place.”
Sentencing will take place on May 27.