Monday, November 12, 2012
TRADING standards chiefs in Suffolk are set to renew the crackdown on unscrupulous doorstep sellers.
“Cold calling” has already been banned in many parts of the county, and now officers are supporting National Consumer Week – which begins today – and will attempt to educate vulnerable consumers about their rights, giving them more confidence to say no to doorstep traders.
Trading Standards launched a county-wide crackdown on rogue traders and cold callers earlier this year, highlighting a huge range of scams that people can be exposed to, with doorstep sales one of the biggest concerns.
Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “It is so important that we do all we can to educate and empower Suffolk people to identify the early warning signs and feel they have the confidence to say ‘no’ to deceitful doorstep sellers.
“I am urging everyone who knows or cares for a vulnerable or elderly person to make sure they are aware of their rights when it comes to suspect doorstep approaches and to carefully research sales people before inviting them into their home.”
Among the advice given to residents is to never sign on the spot, check a trader’s identity card, be wary of special offers or warnings about your home, always read the small print, double-check facts like total costs, get a second opinion from someone you trust, and don’t hand over a cash deposit.
Judith Frame, head of campaigns at the Office of Fair Trading, said: “While it is not illegal to canvas for work door to door, rogue doorstep trading, both invited and uninvited, remains a serious issue for vulnerable groups, particularly the elderly who live alone. Decisions made on the doorstep can result in distress for those who are duped out of money.”