Last Thursday, Lee Nunn from Suffolk Trading Standards and I visited every home in Morley Avenue to talk to residents about their experiences with cold callers, to set up a ‘No Cold-Calling zone’ in the Avenue, and to supply “No Cold Calling” door stickers advertising this. For residents displaying a no cold calling door sticker it is now a criminal offence for traders to call at their door, although things like collecting for local charities, local newspaper deliveries and the like are fine. No Cold Calling street signage will be fixed in the road to further identify that residents in the road do not welcome uninvited doorstep callers and it will be a criminal offence for traders to cold call on any properties in the road.
Rogue traders cold-calling prey quite ruthlessly on people – particularly if they are vulnerable and on their own. Lee Nunn said he was surprised at the sheer level of cold-calling activity taking place in Morley Avenue compared with other areas he had visited.
These have included fish salesmen, people suggesting they were from the Probation board, selling household goods at inflated prices, and young men selling torches etc ‘in order to get into the army.’
Fortunately Morley Avenue is a tightknit community with a lot of good neighbours. However a resident has recently been talked into buying an extremely large quantity of fish at a very high price. (You can find more details about rogue fish sellers here)
“If you’re not sure don’t open the door,”advises Lee Nunn,
In addition he suggests:
- Use a door chain to check who is calling
- Don’t trade on the door step
- Ask a trusted friend or family member for advice on reputable traders
- Display a “No Cold Calling “ sticker on your door. Available free from Suffolk Trading Standards on 01473 264859 or via TradingStandards@suffolk.gov.uk
- Always report any suspicions cold-calling activity immediately to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506