No cold-calling at my home
What are the problems
with doorstep callers?
Unscrupulous traders often target elderly, isolated
householders, generally living alone, and engage them in
conversation with the following pattern:
- They will normally cold-call offering to carry out work for the
householder at low prices and will often start work without
permission, on the basis that they had 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.
- Traders may be verbally aggressive to pressure householder into
paying or agreeing to work, but tend not to step over the line as
they do not want the Police to be involved.
- They may use confusion tactics over quotes and pricing in order
to make householders doubt what they thought they had agreed.
Mostly nothing committed to writing. They never give out a notice
of cancellation rights. (Any such contract is totally unenforceable
if a notice of cancellation rights has not been given, and the
trader has actually committed criminal offence.)
- They will often escort householders to the bank to make cash
Types of work often offered in this way:
- roofing and guttering work;
- pressure washing; and
- house maintenance.
Back to top
What can I do to avoid being
Always say "no" to doorstep callers.
- Keep your front and back doors locked at all times.
- If someone comes to your door, observe this code:
- Stop: Are you expecting anybody? Do they have
- Chain: Secure the door bar or chain before
opening the door.
- Check: Ask for and double check the caller's
- 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.
We want you to say "no" to doorstep callers
- they may pressurise or intimidate you to let them do work;
- you may not really need the work done;
- they may lie about the real cost of the work;
- you may not get what you pay for;
- you could end up paying more than you expected;
- they may lie about their name, address and phone number.
What are we doing about it?
Trading Standards services in the South East have officers on
stand-by to attend 'real time' incidents relating to cold-calling
traders seeking to carry out work for 'vulnerable'
The Rapid Action Teams (RAT) have two main aims:
- Protection - With the householder's agreement,
Trading Standards Officers will attend and attempt to disrupt the
activities of the trader and ensure that they leave the premises
with no payment (or only an amount that householder wishes to
- Evidence - Whilst trying to achieve this,
Trading Standards Officers will also be looking for evidence of any
criminal offences under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading
How to report an incident
If a doorstep caller is at your home now, contact Citizens
Advice Consumer Service immediately on 08454 04
If a doorstep caller has contacted you recently you
can either phone Citizens Advice Consumer Service
on 08454 04 05 06 or complete our online incident report
Back to top
page (third party services may set cookies)