West Leeds: No way to deal with ‘aggressive’ sellers

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“Aggressive” sales tactics of people working for a bank which signs up customers with bad credit history for cards has caused “upset” to Pudsey locals, a councillor has said.

But there is little that Leeds City Council, the police or trading standards can currently do to prevent shoppers being pestered on the street, said Coun Mick Coulson.

Salespeople operating for Vanquis had reportedly been stopping people outside shops in the town to try and sign up new customers.

Coun Coulson said: “Some of the older people were a bit afraid. They seem to target people who are easy meat.”

He added: “The complaint is about their aggressive sales pitches, which upset quite a lot of people in Pudsey. I don’t think they’re there at present.

“We don’t seem as a council to have any control over it because they don’t need a licence.”

Coun Debra Coupar, the executive member for communities, said: “We are aware of a complaint regarding people forcefully promoting financial products aimed at those with a low credit rating, in the Pudsey area – which is unacceptable.

“We have been in contact with the agency responsible to pass on our concerns about the tactics used. Unfortunately there are no specific existing enforcement powers held by local authorities which could be used to tackle ‘aggressive’ selling tactics so we are working with the local neighbourhood policing team and West Yorkshire Trading Standards to protect our communities from this behaviour.”

A spokeswoman for Vanquis said: “For those who do not use the internet or for whom we do not have an address, one alternative is to tell these potential customers about our credit card face-to-face, in places such as shopping malls.

“This is a very small part of our business, however, we take our decision to lend responsibly seriously and we do not tolerate the behaviour described.”

She said a “thorough investigation” was under way.

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