Look who’s calling

Check who's at the doorCheck who's at the door

Steve Wilks, chairman of the Safer Neighbourhoods Ward Panel, explains the purpose of the Redbridge Bogus Caller Partnership and how it helps in the fight against doorstep cold calling.

Doorstep cold calling in the local community is becoming an increasing nuisance and a particular worry for our more vulnerable members of society, who may feel powerless at how they can reduce the risk of such intrusion.

Cold calling is making an unsolicited visit or telephone call to someone in an attempt to sell goods or services. Cold calling is not illegal. However, any trader who ignores a sticker or notice on your door stating you do not wish to receive cold calls may be committing a criminal offence. Also, any trader who ignores any requests by you to leave and not return is committing a criminal offence. Anyone who does cold call and offers to sell you goods or services that cost more than £42 must provide you with a written notice giving you 14 days to cancel the agreement. Anyone who fails to give this notice will also be committing a criminal offence, which Trading Standards can investigate.

Residents have a right to choose whether or not they wish to deal with cold callers. By displaying a sticker or sign on your door, you should be able to expect your wishes to be respected. The Redbridge Bogus Caller Partnership is committed to tackling doorstep crime. It wants to give you the choice and confidence to say no to cold calling traders on your doorstep. A pack has been put together that has an outside and inside door sticker (the indoor sticker gives details of how you can contact Redbridge Trading Standards and the police). Of most concern to us are traders who target the elderly and vulnerable. They offer services like roofing, block paving, guttering, painting and gardening. The stickers are designed to make it clear to any would-be cold callers that they are not welcome, and it is hoped most traders will respect your wishes. However, there is no guarantee that by displaying a sticker you will not receive visits from any cold calling traders. If traders do ignore your sticker, please let Trading Standards know. The information will be used to build up intelligence and identify the worst offenders to take action against.

The advice is never to deal with cold callers. Cold calling is a favourite method of rogue traders whose only aim is to get as much money from their victims as possible. Even if you avoid dealing with rogue traders, those who cold call will usually be persuasive and often catch you when you least expect it and your guard is down. Making the right buying decision on your doorstep is difficult; however, if you do deal with a cold caller, ensure you check they are compliant with the Buy with Confidence scheme.

For more information on the Redbridge Bogus Caller Partnership and their door sticker packs, visit redbridgenhw.info

To contact Redbridge Trading Standards, call 03454 040 506. For details of the Buy with Confidence scheme, visit buywithconfidence.gov.uk

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