Home Business News Doorstep traders could be committing ‘a criminal offence’ ignoring ‘no cold call stickers’

Doorstep traders could be committing ‘a criminal offence’ ignoring ‘no cold call stickers’

by LLB staff reporter
20th Jun 24 12:52 pm

One in five Britons have fallen victim to a doorstep cold calling scam according to new data.

The survey by price comparison site Quotezone has revealed 22 per cent of homeowners have been approached and fallen victim to uninvited traders. A further one in three (32 per cent) claim they’ve had cold callers knock on the door.

Cold calling is an uninvited visit to a home, in an attempt to sell goods or services. Traders tend to prey on elderly householders and those who live alone, often offering to carry out work at a low price.

But the price will generally rise quickly and they may become verbally aggressive until the customer agrees to have the work done.

Although cold calling is not illegal in the UK, traders who ignore a ‘no cold calling’ sticker on the front door may be in violation of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, meaning it could be a criminal offence for a trader to ignore the sign.

It’s also a criminal offence if a trader ignores any requests by you to leave and not return.

Traders must also comply with the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) or face being prosecuted by trading standards.

The regulations state that the person selling must carry identification with their name and company they’re working for and must be clear they are a salesperson.

Before an order is placed, they must also give further information including an address for customer complaints, a total price and how to cancel.

However some unscrupulous traders ignore the regulations and badger vulnerable households into parting with their money.

Greg Wilson, founder and CEO of Quotezone.co.uk said, “The number of people falling victim to doorstep cold callers is shocking and unfortunately reports are on the rise.  Perhaps a combination of the cost-of-living crisis and the surge in people now working from home, has created the ideal environment for rogue traders to thrive.

“Although cold calling isn’t illegal, there are steps households can take to make themselves safer and having a ‘no cold calling’ sticker in place means anyone who ignores it is committing a criminal offence.

“Other simple precautions like installing blinds or netted curtains and keeping the chain across the door may not seem like much but it gives householders an additional line of protection against unexpected callers.

“There are other steps you can take too. Joining or setting up a local neighbourhood watch will give an added sense of security, as well as educating family and friends on how to respond if a doorstep caller becomes persistent. The local street signage attached to the scheme may also help as a deterrent.

“Cold callers may even be attempting to scout out your property for potential theft opportunities so best to end any conversations quickly and be sure they leave the premises.  It’s also sensible to make sure your home insurance policy covers theft of items and any damage to buildings or contents caused by theft.”

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