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Say ‘no’ to unwanted doorstep traders

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 09/11/2012

Two Community Doorstep Control Zones are being launched in the Oldland area during National Consumer Week. These zones can be requested by community groups such as parish councils or neighbourhood watch groups who want to prevent residents from falling victim to rogue traders and doorstep crime such as distraction burglary.

Community Control Zones are run by the community for the community with expert help available from Trading Standards to get you started. The aim is to deter unwanted traders from calling at homes located within the zone. Signs are being put up on lampposts and window stickers in houses within the zone which say they are not welcome. And our Trading Standards officers are working closely with communities to raise awareness of doorstep crime and reduce the number of incidents of rogue trading.

Kevin Evans from Trading Standards said: “Research has shown that there is a link between cold calling and doorstep crime, such as distraction burglary and rogue trader activity. Fortunately, these types of crime are not common but to help protect residents against such crimes, we are introducing Community Doorstep Control Zones.”

The two new pilot schemes launching next week are supported by Oldland Parish Council. Clerk Victoria Hicks said: “Oldland Parish Council fully supports the Community Doorstep Control Zones and is keen to see them introduced throughout the area. Cold calling is seen as a nuisance to householders and any measures to reduce or eradicate the practice are to be welcomed.”

The zones are not designed to stop callers such as utilities representatives, charity collectors or canvassers. If you would like to find out more details about setting up a scheme in South Gloucestershire, please call Trading Standards on 01454 864419.

During National Consumer Week, officers will be raising awareness about other scams for consumers to avoid including rogue traders offering to carry out unnecessary work to a property. And officers have been working closely with New Cheltenham Car Sales in Kingswood who contacted us after a routine check of the company’s online car sales advertisements found the same photographs the business had taken were being used to advertise the same cars at knockdown prices with different contact details for the seller.

This type of scam is intended to hook potential buyers looking for a bargain priced car. After gaining their confidence, the rogue trader takes payment upfront to guarantee the sale but the car is not theirs to sell. The advice from senior Trading Standards officer Neil Derrick is ‘rogue traders try to dupe would-be car buyers into thinking that they are getting an absolute bargain. Quite simply, if the deal seems too good to be true, it most probably is’.

National Consumer Week is run by the Trading Standards Institute and we are working with them to help spread the message of saying no to cold callers.


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