Vacuum salesmen tried to ‘con’ residents

PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 December 2010

The company and its director were found guilty of 11 consumer protection offences

The company and its director were found guilty of 11 consumer protection offences

Archant

ANGRY residents have told how vacuum cleaner salesmen tried to ‘con’ them in their own homes.

Gwendolin Worboys, a 75-year-old widow from Yatton, said two salesmen stayed in her home for over five hours before she finally agreed to buy a vacuum cleaner – even though she said she did not need one.

And Teresa Harding, aged 47, from Clevedon, said she had to physically throw one of the salesmen out of her home after he refused to leave.

The company, Premier Systems GB Limited, and its director have been found guilty of 11 consumer protection offences relating to three separate incidents, and fined £15,000.

Both Ms Worboys and Mrs Harding received cards through their letterboxes saying they had a free carpet cleaning voucher which they could exchange.

Ms Worboys said: “I accepted the free trial, thinking that it would just be one person coming round to do one of my rooms, but when my doorbell rang it was two salesmen, one aged around 20 and the other around 25.

“They turned up at 2.30pm, which was half an hour late, but I couldn’t get rid of them until eight in the evening.”

She added that, having cleaned the carpet in one of her rooms, the pair then went into her bedroom, stripped her bed and told her that the mattress was ‘dirty’ and would need cleaning.

Ms Worboys said the pair did not leave her property until she had agreed to buy an industrial Kirby vacuum cleaner for £1,400 – much more than it is worth. She added: “I feel conned. All they were doing was trying to pressure vulnerable people into buying things they didn’t want.”

Mrs Harding, of Braikenridge Close, said: “A salesman came to my house after I claimed the voucher, but I cottoned on quite quickly that he wasn’t really there to do the carpet cleaning.

“He started trying to push a vacuum cleaner, and was saying he had gotten it down to a really good price.

“Even though I said I wasn’t interested, he started to become a bit aggressive about it, and I literally had to physically remove him from the house as he wouldn’t stop.

At a hearing at Hereford Magistrates Court on December 10, the company was found guilty on one misleading commercial practice relating to Ms Worboys and Mrs Harding each, and its director, Kenvyn Pobjoy, was convicted on three director offences relating to Ms Worboys and one relating to Mrs Harding.

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