Directors disqualified for using unlawful sales tactics

Five company directors have been disqualified from trading for a combined total of 39½ years after repeatedly using sales tactics that breached consumer legislation.

The directors worked for SAS Fire and Security Systems Limited. The company sold fire and burglar alarms. It was investigated by Trading Standards in 2013 for its aggressive sales approach.

The investigation by the Insolvency Service found that customers were being cold-called over the phone, and coerced into agreeing to an appointment for a presentation of the products in their home.

The sales agents at these presentations used misleading and false claims about the products to secure sales. Payments were usually taken in full from customers before the mandatory seven-day ‘cooling off’ period was complete. This cancellation window was not properly explained to customers. Payments ranged from £1,500 to £6,000.

Four of the directors were disqualified in 2013 after the initial investigation. The company was warned to amend its approach or face further penalties.

It failed to comply, and a second investigation led to a further director being disqualified for six years in September 2014.

The company, which had accumulated more than 7,000 customers by this point, was shut down by Trading Standards on the grounds of public interest.

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