Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is warning residents to be alert to suspicious telephone calls regarding personal community/care alarms.
Reports suggest that the resident receives an unsolicited telephone call from a company enquiring about problems with their existing community/care alarm. Suspicions are that the caller is attempting to obtain personal details, and may try to sell an unnecessary replacement alarm. No home visit is offered and payment may be requested over the telephone.
There may be serious safety implications involved with replacing community/care alarms, as the new alarms may not have remote monitoring or back up in the event of an emergency.
Trading Standards urge residents not to give out any personal information, including bank or card details, or agree to purchase a new alarm over the telephone. Always make enquiries with the existing provider (using a phone number obtained from the original paperwork and not given by the caller) before agreeing to a replacement alarm.
Residents have the right to cancel telephone purchases up until the time they receive the goods. Once received, there is a 14 day cooling off period, starting the day after receipt of the goods, in which the goods can be returned for a refund (although the company may be entitled to charge return postage).
For further advice or to report a suspicious telephone call, contact our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 05 06 07, or the Police on 101.
To help reduce unwanted telephone calls, residents can register their number for free with the Telephone Preference Service either online or by telephone 0345 070 0707.