'Council approved' vouchers sounded sus

AN Albury resident used to telemarketers knew something was up when a company offering vouchers told him they had the endorsement of Albury Council.

The 77-year-old, who did not want to be named, received a call to his mobile on Friday afternoon from Melbourne-based marketing company Urban Promotions offering him more than $3000 in vouchers to local businesses for $100.

“I asked them how they got my number,” he said.

“She said Albury City Council gave 100 names of people living in the area for 10 years or more.”

The Border resident of 77 years said he was in a “good mood” and agreed a courier could visit him at home within the hour.

In the meantime, he rang the council who told him they did not endorse the vouchers.

Director of economic development and tourism Tracey Squire said it was wrong to use the council’s brand to sell the product.

“They’re misleading people and certainly, it gives a level of confidence that when something is supported by council that it’s legitimate, that it’s worthwhile,” Ms Squire said.

“The company that rang him said that they had some sort of endorsement from council, that’s not the case.”

The Border Mail contacted Urban Promotions yesterday, but received no response.

The marketing company’s website states the vouchers are designed to help businesses get new customers.

Its website lists 26 businesses from Albury-Wodonga with offers from free meals to haircuts, bowling and DVD hire.

The Albury resident told the courier who arrived at his home he wasn’t interested in the vouchers any more after speaking with the council and his son, who questioned its value.

“I thought it was getting too good to be true. I was in real high spirits as well,” he said.

“But the courier was very good. She said ‘No, we don’t want your money if you have any doubts at all’,” he said.

He said he was contacted regularly by telemarketers and he liked to argue with them.

On one occasion, he was on his mobile phone to one when he picked up a call on his home phone to another telemarketer.

He decided he’d put his phones together so they could talk to each other and not him.

Concerned residents should phone SCAMwatch on 1300 795 995.