Advice on cold calling from GMP and Trading Standards
Following a spate of cold calling in Marple during January and February 2023 that resulted in many people being significantly overcharged for work done, the Marple Community Hub Facebook Group Admins put in a lot of effort to get the right advice for the community from GMP and Trading Standards. The Marple Website is pleased to share the results of their hard work here.
KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED ON UNWANTED CALLERS
Most callers at your door will be genuine.
However, sometimes people are approached at their door by bogus callers, rogue traders or other uninvited callers such as sales people.
They will offer to do work on driveways, roofs/gutters, gardens, etc., and install alarm systems for a very cheap price as long as you agree to have the work done there and then. Invariably, once they start, prices increase and more jobs are suggested by them.
- You are in charge. Don’t sign or agree to anything there and then no matter what discounts you are offered.
- Ask for a written quote, take time to think and shop around. A reputable firm will always be happy for you to do this.
- Get another opinion; don’t just accept the word of someone who calls at your door.
- If a contract is entered into on the doorstep, you must be given confirmation of the contract in writing (on paper/by email) this must include pre contract information (breakdown of the work to be carried out including labour and material costs) and cancellation rights which should include, the name of the owner and a geographic address. The cancellation period given should be 14 days and can be cancelled before any work has started and during the 14 day period. It is important to note that, in the event you do cancel the contract you may be liable to pay for any work conducted and materials used.
- If in doubt: Do not hand over any cash/cheques or provide any financial details.
No Cold Calling Zone
If the area in which you live becomes an agreed No Cold Calling Zone, signage will be put up on lamp-posts around the area.
These signs ask that businesses or individuals do not call at the door of residents in the zone without a prior appointment to do so.
If you do receive calls at your door from any uninvited trades or sales people please telephone Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 for advice and to report it to Trading Standards.
If you see anyone suspicious or receive a bogus caller at the door report it to Greater Manchester Police on 101, or in the event of an emergency ring 999.
Doorstep criminals and bogus callers, use all kinds of tricks to take money from householders. They may operate alone, or in groups, and will often have very convincing stories to trick their way into your home, or to convince you to part with money unnecessarily.
They may be men, women or children, and may even carry ID cards, or wear uniforms with company logos on.
Some doorstep criminals try to trick householders by claiming to be from the utility services such as water, gas or electric company.
They may also claim to be from the council, a charity or the police.
Others may offer services such as property repairs or crime prevention surveys.
However, by sticking to the following crime prevention advice, you will prevent yourself from becoming the victim of a doorstep criminal.
Remember: If in doubt, keep them out
Doorstep crime prevention advice
- Lock... Front and back doors while at home and away.
- Stop... Check through a window or door viewer when you have a caller at the door.
- Chain... Put on your door chain or door bar before opening the door to strangers.
- Check... Always ask for ID and check it carefully - keep a list of official telephone numbers by the phone. (Genuine callers will always be happy to wait if you want to phone and confirm their identity).
- Display... A no cold calling sticker on your door/window to advise cold callers to stay away from your home.
- Remember... It is okay to say ‘no’ to a doorstep caller and close the door.
- Do not... Keep large sums of money in the home.
- Do not... Employ the services of cold calling businesses, such as property repair businesses, paving, tree surgery or jet washing.
- Always... Report suspicious callers to the police and the Citizens Advice Consumer Service.
- Police Emergency 999
- Police Non-Emergency 101
- Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
- Citizens Advice Consumer Services 0808 223 1133
- AGE UK 0800 678 1602
- Crime Reduction Advice 0161 856 5912
With thanks to Carole Hill from Marple Community Hub Facebook Group for her hard work on this issue.
The two large images above can be downloaded for printing and sharing by right-clicking and saving.
There is also a pdf version of the leaflet here.