Christchurch households are being warned about sales techniques for expensive vacuum cleaners.
Watchdog organisation Consumer NZ said it had received complaints about a range of vacuum cleaners being sold in Napier and Christchurch.
Napier widow Kay Caradus, 81, is taking Clean Air Systems to the Disputes Tribunal to try to recover $3350 she paid for a cleaner after a two-hour demonstration.
She said she felt pressured into the purchase and was made to feel like a slack housekeeper during the demonstration.
Consumer magazine editor David Naulls said a good all-round vacuum cleaner could be bought for $400 to $500.
Two companies in Christchurch were selling expensive vacuum cleaners using home demonstrations _ Health Air Products Ltd (HAP) and Healthy Home Solutions (HHS).
HHS had been leaving calling cards in Christchurch letterboxes asking householders to call "regarding (a) package we have for you".
The call led to a visit from a sales person and a demonstration that could last several hours.
The calling cards were the same as flyers used by HAP two years ago, Consumer said.
The magazine said people should not be taken in by sales demonstrations thinly disguised as promotions and advised people not to pay by cash or credit on the spot because it meant the legal seven-day "cooling-off" period was lost.
HAP director Carmen Glenn said the company sold its products in Timaru. He said his brother, Darin Glenn, ran HHS, which sold products in Christchurch.
Carmen Glenn said the company flyers clearly stated it was a promotion that involved a product presentation. It did not specify it involved an "indoor air-cleaning system", he said.
The company had a "no pressure" sales policy and allowed for a seven-day cooling-off period, even when it was not legally required to do so for credit card or cheque purchases.
Have you had any experiences with vacuum cleaner salespeople that you would like to tell us about? Email reporters@press. co.nz
- The Press