Free Burglar Alarms
Be alarmed by offers of 'free' burglar alarms, urges Vale of
Glamorgan Council’s Trading Standards
Trading standards across the country are reporting complaints of
companies scaring consumers into accepting a free burglar alarm
which then ties the victim to a contract costing thousands of
Trading Standards are urging consumers to say no to companies
offering these free appliances, claiming they are working with the
police or as part of a Government scheme, or that they are
researching for a fire and security alarm system company.
The salesman will typically cold call, keen to make a home visit
the same day to discuss the installation of a free or cheap alarm.
The companies are reported to use high pressure tactics and to
scaremonger about rising crime levels in the area, while some are
reported to make misleading claims about the alarms being directly
linked to the police or the availability of a hotline to police
What they fail to mention are the fees that residents will have
to pay for the monitoring, upkeep and rapid response facilities,
which can add up to thousands of pounds.
Some have found themselves tied to a six-year contract agreement
costing up to £6,000.
Consumers who sign on the dotted line will have a seven day
cooling off period during which they can change their minds.
These companies seem to be working their way from one area to
another so we would urge residents across the country to be on
Simon Wilkinson, Principal Trading Standards Officer says ‘Vale
residents should never feel rushed to sign up to anything and
remember the mantra: any deal that is too good to be true, probably
‘Talk to family, friends or neighbours if you are unsure or
worried. Consumers should always use a company recommended buy a
friend or found in a local approved trader scheme, and where
possible ask for three quotes.
If you have experienced this kind of incident, please contact
Citizens Advice on 08454 04 05 06 in the first