Issued: 23 July 2012
Utility Bills Sales Calls Warning
Angus Council trading standards are reminding local businesses to be careful when dealing with sales phone calls offering cheap electricity and new "smart" electricity meters.
All businesses, particularly small ones, are being advised to be wary of phone calls where the caller claims to be able to cut electricity bills and help reclaim large sums of money on past overcharging.
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to unfair business practices and trading standards advises all businesses to be on their guard and not to be pressured or tricked into paying up front fees and agreeing to contracts over the phone.
Some legitimate companies do exist, but to reduce the risks of falling for cold call scams, trading standards have issued these tips:
- Don't take unsolicited calls when you are busy at work and can't give the sales person your full attention.
- Don't agree to something on the phone just to get rid of a persistent caller - legally binding agreements can be made over the phone.
- Be wary of follow-up calls - you may think they are just verifying details, but they may be trying to trick you into entering into an agreement.
- Don't be pressurised into paying for services that you know you haven't agreed to. If you are threatened with debt collectors remember that only a court can decide whether you are liable to pay.
- Never agree to anything without seeing terms and conditions and finding out if the caller is a legitimate company.
If you are suspicions about these type of calls you can contact Citizens Advice consumer service for advice on 08454 04 05 06. Businesses can also report scams on the Action Fraud website. If you are a small business in Angus and you have received demands for payment following these kind of calls and don't know what to do then contact Angus Council trading standards for advice on 01241 435600.