Home' The Wellingtonian : June 16th 2011 Contents 3
THE WELLINGTONIAN, JUNE 16, 2011
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Sucking in the cash
Cleaned out: Shirley Najbert said she felt pressured into buying a $3000
vacuum cleaner from salesman David Lord.
Photo: EMMA BEER
By EMMA BEER
A door-to-door salesman has left
an elderly woman feeling stupid
Shirley Najbert, a Porirua resi-
dent, said she felt pressured into
paying $3050 for a vacuum
cleaner after a four-hour in-home
visit by Living Longer NZ.
The salesman, who Mrs Najbert
said was business owner David
Lord, rang her home on a
Wednesday night in late May.
Mr Lord and a young female
trainee-demonstrator went to her
home the following day.
Mr Lord disputed this, saying
he did not do the demonstration
for Mrs Najbert and he was not in
her home at the time. When asked
if he had ever been to her home,
he declined to comment.
Mrs Najbert said the demon-
stration made her feel as if she
never cleaned her home.
It made you feel humiliated.
Her children were shocked
when she told them what had
When you re older your brain
doesn t work as quickly as it used
to. I didn t think I was stupid, but
I certainly was stupid there. I got
sucked in by a smooth-talking
[My children] said, You bloody
idiot . By that time I was starting
to feel I should ve crawled under a
stone or something.
She rang Mr Lord, explained
she was unhappy and asked for a
refund and to return the vacuum
He said he couldn t do that, but
offered to give her $550, bringing
the total sale price down to $2500.
The Wellingtonian asked Mr
Lord if it was common to give
customers rebates when they
wanted a refund. His response
was, No comment .
Mrs Najbert said she accepted
the $550 last week. She was
resigned to the fact she was
unlikely to get the rest of the
money back, but wanted to make
other people aware of what Living
Longer was doing.
I want to stop him sucking in
other old people, she said.
Mr Lord said he did not think
Mrs Najbert s suggestion that she
was pressured into buying the
vacuum cleaner was fair.
I asked her if she understood
that she had the option to say yes
or no, he said.
When asked how he had done
this, given his previous statement
claiming he was not present dur-
ing the demonstration and pur-
chase, Mr Lord declined to com-
This is not the first time
Envirotect salespeople have been
in the firing line for questionable
Five retailers around the
country sell Envirotect. One of
those businesses is Living Longer
NZ Ltd, of which Mr Lord is listed
Earlier this year the Commerce
Commission issued a warning let-
ter to Mr Lord regarding
allegations of false or misleading
representations by telemarketers
and sales staff.
The letter stated the investi-
gation had established Living
Longer had breached sections of
the Fair Trading Act.
Last year Lower Hutt woman
Joy Peffers found herself in a
similar situation with the com-
pany after an in-home demon-
In 2009, Napier woman Lara
Every also had dealings with Liv-
ing Longer NZ and Mr Lord.
She was told she could get a
discount of $400 on the vacuum
cleaner if she donated 10 food
items to the Napier food bank.
Upon further inquiries, it was
found the food bank had broken
its contract with Mr Lord a year
before owing to selling tactics.
The Commerce Commission
said in its warning letter to Mr
Lord that the number of com-
plaints in the past 12 months
about Living Longer indicated it
had a problem with compliance
with the Act and it is not a one-off
isolated incident mistakenly
Complaints had been received
from Lower Hutt, Wainuiomata,
Stokes Valley, Pinehaven and
Mr Lord is also listed as direc-
tor for Clean Air Systems. In
2008, another Napier resident,
Kay Caradus, took that company
to the disputes tribunal after she
said she felt pressured into buying
an Envirotect vacuum cleaner.
Allanah Kalafatelis, Commerce
Commission spokeswoman, said:
If anybody who has been
approached by these salespeople
is concerned they have been mis-
led, they should make a complaint
to the Commerce Commission.
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