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Sales techniques leave elderly cold

PUBLISHED: 23:00 12 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:37 03 March 2010

ELDERLY people are being urged to be wary about the sales techniques of some companies making telephone calls in Suffolk.

Suffolk Police and the county trading standards department have received a number of complaints from vulnerable residents approached by these companies.

ELDERLY people are being urged to be wary about the sales techniques of some companies making telephone calls in Suffolk.

Suffolk Police and the county trading standards department have received a number of complaints from vulnerable residents approached by these companies.

It is thought that they specifically target elderly and frail residents in Suffolk – sometimes telephoning them and other times cold calling unannounced at their homes. There is even one report that a company visited one elderly lady in her home even though she expressly refused an appointment when they had telephoned her earlier. They then tried to pressurise her into buying a product she did not want or need.

These firms often use sales patter that preys on the fears of older residents. In some cases the companies have claimed that local crime figures are rising in the area and they should buy costly security products for their homes.

The Police and Trading Standards would like to issue the following statement and advice to local residents – beware of any organisation using the following sales techniques:

Calling older residents to make an appointment to visit them at home.

Highlighting possible danger of safety or maintenance issues in their home.

Emphasising crime levels in the area, preying on the vulnerability and fear of elderly residents.

Using high-pressure scare tactics to sell security packages.

Asking to be paid in cash only.

Offering to take people to their bank to collect money there and then.

Leave without contact details, making it difficult for residents to get any redress.

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