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A scene from the programme and above, LiamWalsh

‘Rogue trader’ boss disputes BBC’s claims

THEboss of a Maidstone company exposed by BBC’s Watchdog for pressure-selling to the elderly and disabled said he will carry out a full review of its sales techniques. Director Liam Walsh said com-

mentsmadeby staff atMyHomeIn- stallations about a customer were indefensible, and that he had sus- pended those involved. The TV show sent an undercover reporter into MyHome’s base in St Leonards Road on the 20/20 Busi- ness Park, and claimed that staff persuaded pensioners to pay for un- necessary work at inflated prices. However, MrWalsh insisted the

priceswere not hugely inflated and all the workwas necessary. The firm was previously known

as Landmark Securities, which was outed by the show’s Rogue Traders team in 2012 for similar practices. The expose, broadcast onNovem-

ber 2, showed sales manager William Blakey (26) advising an un- dercover reporter posing as a trainee salesman to “blindly follow” instructions. He went with salesman Nathan Faulkes (24), of Aylesford, to the home of disabled 88-year-old Edna King, who was pressured into pay- ing for an electrical survey. Mr Faulkes said: “If they are disabled, as wrong as it is, I play on it.” Mrs King refused the offer but

was later called by the firm’s electri- cal manager Andrew “Bill” Beale, who convinced her to go ahead. The BBC said Mr Faulkes later quoted her £2,500 for a day’s work dealing with 36 faults, but there were roughly half that and the work should have cost £1,500. MrWalsh said his firm quoted £1,400 includ- ingVAT for the work and £1,100 for a five-year warranty on the cus- tomer’s existing installation. He added: “Our pricewas in line

with the estimation by the BBC’s ex- pert whichwas £1,500 and thewar- ranty is described separately in our

Be on guard

DAVEWest (pictured) works for Trust in Blue, a firm which employs qualified workers who are retired police officers. He said: “People, especially the elderly, must be on their guard if they are allowing anyone into their home. “They should check the person

concerned and get proper identification and references. “Don’t just take the first quote.

Ask family and friends to check to see if it is reasonable. “A lot of elderly people just

panic and pay too much.” Contact Trust in Blue on 01622 736906 or for a free quote, 0800 2550255.

price list and brochure.” Mr Walsh told Downs Mail: “Having been featured on the new series of BBC Watchdog, I am greatly upset by the comments made by the staff featured. “I have immediately started a re-

view into the current sales tech- niques used and suspended the individualswhomadethe offensive comments about our customer. The comments broadcast about our cus- tomer were indefensible and I will be personally apologising for the of- fence caused.” He said therewas nothing wrong

with the cost and the way the BBC calculated quoteswas erroneous. He said the total price for Mrs

King’s survey was £400. He said it took the engineer two and a half days because the property was larger than average and had 23 sep- arate circuits, when an average house has seven.

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