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Report doorstep callers

How to report

If a doorstep caller is at your home now or has recently contacted you should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service or report to us on our online form.

Phone Phone: 03454 040506
Report online Report online

What are doorstep callers?

Unscrupulous traders will often target the elderly, isolated householders, people living alone and will try and engage in conversation with the following pattern:

  • They will normally cold-call offering to carry out work for the householder at a low price and will often start work without permission, on the basis that they had been asked for a quote.

  • Once work has begun, the price goes up rapidly and extra work is claimed to be required in order to complete the job.

  • Traders may be verbally aggressive to pressure householder into paying or agreeing to work. 

  • They may use confusion tactics over quotes and pricing in order to make householders doubt what they thought they had agreed. Typically, there is nothing in writing. Often they will fail to provide the required notice detailing cancellation rights which is a criminal offence.

  • They will often escort householders to the bank to make cash withdrawals.


What can I do to avoid being caught?

  • Keep your front and back doors secure at all times.

  • If someone comes to your door, observe this code:
    • Stop: Are you expecting anybody? Do they have an appointment?
    • Chain: Secure the door bar or chain before opening the door.
    • Check: Ask for and double check the caller's ID.

  • If they offer to do work on your property say "no thanks" and shut the door.

  • Do not keep large sums of money at home.

Request a 'No cold calling' pack 

An information pack is available on request which is designed to create no cold-calling households.

Phone Phone: 01243 642124
Email Email: trading.standards@westsussex.gov.uk

The pack contains:

  • A door or window sticker which, when displayed, makes it clear to anybody calling at an individual property that cold-callers are not welcome and that the residents within will not deal with them at the door. Callers who ignore this may be committing an offence under recently introduced consumer protection legislation.

  • A leaflet giving general advice and tips on dealing with doorstep cold-callers.

  • Details of our Buy with Confidence scheme which helps you to find a reputable trader. All members have been vetted and approved by West Sussex Trading Standards. 

© Copyright 2015 West Sussex County Council, County Hall, Chichester PO19 1RQ.

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