The benefits of shopping online using independently monitored and secure web sites was highlighted this week with the conviction and incarceration of the owner of a security firm, Night and Day in Washington, for conning vulnerable pensioners out of thousands of pounds.
The case revealed just how easy it is to be conned if you do not do some basic research and take some independent advice before you buy. The Company charged £1500 ostensibly for the installation of an intruder alarm which in many cases involved merely fitting just a wireless smoke alarm. The salespeople from the company targeted elderly people living alone to sell their con by playing on their fear of being burgled. They then compounded this fraud by taking additional money from the customer’s credit cards. The case identified one victim who lost £19,000, and in total 15 people lost £121,481.
One of the reasons the blighters were able to mount the scam was that the elderly target customers just did not know the price of equipment and were unfamiliar with the products so were easily convinced that the Smoke Alarm was an intruder alarm.
Understandably the elderly can be forgiven for being worried about buying online but these days it does not have to be an impersonal shot in the dark. At Fire and Safety Centre you can see the products with descriptions of what they do. You can buy securely online then and there but have the option to call us and talk to a customer support operative who can advise the best (and most cost effective) solution, take a secure payment and arrange a convenient time for delivery. As you build confidence in the Internet you can take the time to compare prices and product options to get the best deal before you choose.
The real cost of a standard Ionisation type smoke alarm is just £7.14 including Vat and a combined smoke and even the sophisticated dual smoke and carbon monoxide detector
that provides all round security is just £32 both of which can fitted easily by the householder. That’s a far cry from £1500 by any measure.
If you are hesitant about online shopping I heartily recommend you seek out one of the many community based learning centres that will show you just how easy it is to use the Internet. Not only will it save you money but it’s great fun too and before you know it you will be as internet savvy as the next man or woman.