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Suspicious security call? (updated)

23rd November 2009 @ 3:03pm – by Celia Bloor
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At lunchtime today, I received a call (number witheld) from someone saying they were from SAS Securities working with Crime Research UK in the CW3 area.

At first it sounded like a survey and that they were compiling statistics but then turned out they were offering to install FREE security systems. I declined their offer and reported it to police who have given it an incident number.

I have not had time nor the inclination to check out these organisations' names. Has any one else had this call?

Ian Bloor has since contacted Audlem Online to say: "Following Celia's call from Crime Research UK / SAS Fire and Security Systems Ltd, I Googled them and found, at the top of the list, a link to nine pages of information and warnings about them at forums, moneysavingexpert.com and a newspaper report along the same lines at www.thestar.co.uk

I have made the local (Crewe) Police aware of these reports. We old folk need to be especially wary. The Star (Sheffield) newspaper says:

A "PUSHY" alarm company has triggered complaints to trading standards and the police after cold- calling elderly people in South Yorkshire.
Reps for the firm, SAS Fire and Security Systems, of Stockport, advise householders they live in a high-crime area and their existing alarm is useless because it is not monitored.

SAS offers to fit a system free and charge to monitor the alarm but according to Trading Standards, the cost is high, the cover is exaggerated, the contracts are very long and the credit is at very unreasonable rates.

A Trading Standards spokesman said: "The company is often unwilling to give their details over the phone, the salespeople are aggressive, pushy and difficult to get rid of when invited into the home."

One caller to Action Desk, who asked not to be named, said the SAS rep was in her parents' house for three hours.

SAS was unavailable for comment.

All incidents involving this company, and another alarm firm with the same methods – Crime watch UK/Crime research UK – should be reported to Consumer Direct on 08454 040506. (that number may apply only to South Yorkshire as this is a Sheffield Star report)

Remember you have a seven-day 'cooling off' cancellation period after signing a contract in your home.

Dave Martin adds: "I too have had them on the phone recently. I quickly told them to "sling their hook".

"What is annoying is that as well as being pushy, they are ignoring the rules on "cold calling". We're registered on the Telephone Preference Service http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/tps/ which means they are ignoring industry rules.

"But your only redress is to complain to the Information Commissioner's Office. Having said that, since registering we've had very few UK-based cold calls. Unfortunately, the service only operates in the UK, so the holidays offered in an American accent and financial advice in an Indian accent still get through!"


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