News item

'Aggressive' window salesman jailed

A rogue window salesman who targeted elderly people on their own doorsteps by aggressively pressuring them into agreeing to have work done has been jailed.
Ismail Pandor, 43, from Mirfield, West Yorkshire today pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to five counts of engaging in unfair commercial practices - three of which were aggressive.
Two of the offences in early 2012 were committed in Ulverston with the others taking place in Barrow, Broughton-in-Furness and Bootle.
Pandor was working for a company called Eco Homes when he visited elderly customers by prior appointment and told them discount Government grants they were entitled to would only be available if they signed up on that day.
The court heard that he even took one 73-year-old victim to the bank to withdraw money for a deposit.
The judge jailed Pandor for three months. This will follow the 16-month sentence that he is currently serving for making false representations while working for himself.
Eco Homes are not being prosecuted.
All five victims soon had second thoughts about going ahead with the work Pandor had arranged and contacted trading standards who helped get their money back and brought about the prosecution.
Angela Jones, Trading Standards Services Manager for Cumbria County Council, said: “This case highlights that while most companies operate within the law some salespeople use unfair or aggressive trading practices. This verdict will hopefully deter rogue traders and demonstrates that enforcement action will be taken if you are found to be using high pressure sales tactics or carry out unfair trading in Cumbria.
"Some salespeople can be very persuasive when they visit you in your home and often target older or more vulnerable residents. We urge consumers to protect themselves by simply saying “no thank you” to telephone sales and do not engage with any cold callers. If you need work to be carried out on your home or garden ask others for a recommendation or use a Trading Standards approved trader.”
Councillor Barry Doughty, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities, said: “I would remind everyone in our communities that victims of unfair trading and doorstep crime are parents, grandparents, friends and neighbours - if you see or hear something suspicious please report to trading standards or the police. Everyone needs to be vigilant to help identify the rogue traders and hopefully protect the most vulnerable consumers.
“If you have any concerns about unsolicited telephone calls, high pressure selling or doorstep cold callers please contact Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.”

Media enquiries to communications adviser John Ballard on 01228 221752 
•'Aggressive' window salesman jailed 
DATE: 13 August 2013