A few days ago I was notified by a resident that he had received a late evening cold call at the door by a seller with some ID, but apparently nothing to sell. None of us particularly appreciate being knocked at the door (especially by canvassers, *cough*) but it can also be troubling as to their intentions.
Be on your guard against strangers. It is difficult to tell whether the person is genuine, a rogue trader offering repairs or improvements, or a bogus caller trying to get into our home.
You are under no obligation to allow anyone to enter your home and can refuse access. We advise to say “No” to all doorstep cold callers.
You should never allow anyone access to your home without valid identification. Legitimate callers will not mind being challenged and will expect you to ask them for identification.
Do not open the door, if you do use a door chain. Put the chain on before opening the door. This will restrict the opening, give you time to think and show your caller you are on your guard.
Be confident and say ‘No thank you’
Never keep large sums of money in the house and keep purses out of sight, away from the door.
Don’t sign anything
If you are asked to sign anything, always ask if you can have a copy to read first. If necessary, ask them to call back when you have read it. If they refuse to let you think it over, this should make you suspicious.
Get a second opinion
Get a second opinion before agreeing to work or goods. “Today only” offers may not be genuine. If you sign a contract in your own home, you will generally have the right to cancel it within 7 days.
Do not accept transport to your bank or building society to withdraw money to pay for the work. If this happens, tell the bank cashier.
Quick Response Team
Hampshire Trading Standards have a Quick Response Team who would be pleased to receive a call to report a recent visit from someone offering repairs or work to your property, e.g. roofing, driveways, gardening.
Very often such work is unnecessary or poor quality and the price charged is excessive. The trader may harass, pressurise or even try to scare you into having the work done.
If you have been affected in this way or are concerned about a doorstep caller, please contact us on 01962 833 666. Specially trained officers can provide help and advice on how to deal with such callers in the future and can attend the incident at short notice if the trader is:
Still at your home or in the area?
Due to return, perhaps to collect payment?
Offering to take you to the bank to withdraw cash?
The Quick Response Team is available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. If you have any concerns outside these times, please contact the Police on 0845 045 45 45 for help but if you feel frightened or threatened, dial 999.
Here is the link for the HCC Cold Calling website http://www3.hants.gov.uk/tradingstandards/tradingstandards-nocoldcalling.htm
If you would like a ‘No Cold Calling’ sticker then please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address and I will organise one for you.