House alarm company which misled vulnerable customers in March and Wisbech fined

PUBLISHED: 09:37 03 September 2014 | UPDATED: 09:37 03 September 2014

Trading Standards.

Trading Standards.

Archant

A house alarm company which misled vulnerable customers in March and Wisbech has been fined £52,500.

Kevin Powell, 34, director of Security Hub Home Zone Ltd, along with company salesmen, Michael O’Reilly, 54, of Kidderminster and Martin Kennedy, 61, of Northfield, received suspended sentences by Peterborough Crown Court.

In addition, Powell and O’Reilly have to complete 180 hours of community service.

The company was fined in total £52,500 and compensation awarded to the victims of the case.

Following a case put together by Cambridgeshire County Council and Shropshire County Council Trading Standards officers, the individuals pleaded guilty on August 4 to a range of offences under consumer protection regulations regarding misleading and unfair sales practices.

The company also pleaded guilty to seven counts of misleading and unfair sales practices.

Victims, all in their 70s and 80s, were from March, Wisbech, Eynesbury, St Ives, Hemingford Grey and Brampton.

Other victims from Northamptonshire and Shropshire also formed part of the case.

The security company, which operates nationally, sells alarm systems through cold calling and follow-up doorstep sales.

At a hearing on Friday, Judge Murphy described the conduct of all three defendants an “absolute disgrace” and stated they “caused considerable emotional distress”.

Nikki Pasek, head of Supporting Businesses and Communities at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “This is an excellent result for the victims following what’s been a lengthy investigation involving joint working with Shropshire County Council.

“The practices of this director and salesmen have caused untold stress to their often vulnerable customers.

“Alongside this they have deprived honest businesses of potential work and risk damaging the reputation of this trade. “We’d like to send a clear message that sales practices such as these will not be tolerated in our county.”

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