Trading Standards warns of summer rogue traders
Archived news: published on Thursday 19 Jul 2012 by Fife Council
Latest Consumer Direct figures [Note 1] reveal there were over 1480 doorstep selling complaints in Fife. In a push to protect the vulnerable, Fife Trading Standards is joining forces with the OFT’s Summer Doorstep Selling campaign, empowering local residents to deal with untoward doorstep sellers.
Research conducted on behalf of the Office of Fair Trading highlights the elderly as being particularly at risk of doorstep selling scams. One in five people over the age of 70 who were interviewed admitted to not being confident in deciding whether to employ a tradesperson and a fifth of those questioned couldn’t see through pressure sales tactics such as having to pay cash in advance or having to make a quick decision to get a good deal. [Note 2]
Alan Hamilton, Trading Standards Service Manager says: “Not all doorstep sellers are bogus, however unlawful traders can be unscrupulous and use a range of persuasive tactics to sell seemingly irresistible offers to unsuspecting and often vulnerable people in their homes. I’m urging everyone who knows or cares for a vulnerable, elderly person to make sure they are aware of their rights when it comes to suspicious door step approaches. No one should feel pressured into making a rash buying decision. If in doubt always think twice and always get a second opinion.”
Judith Frame, Head of Campaigns at OFT says: “Complaints about home maintenance and illegitimate doorstep sellers traditionally peak in the summer months. While it is not illegal to canvas for work door to door, rogue doorstep trading remains a serious issue for vulnerable groups, particularly the elderly who live alone. Decisions made on the doorstep can result in a great amount of distress for those who are duped out of money for substandard products or services. It is crucial to be aware of your consumer rights and share this knowledge.”
- Consumer Direct data Jan – Dec 2011
- SPA Future Thinking Doorstep Selling Research 2011 – 670 face-to-face interviews were conducted with respondents aged 70+. Locations were spread across Great Britain. Interviewing was conducted from 25th – 30th November 2011.
The OFT has advice leaflets on doorstep selling. See publications section where you can view or print a copy of these leaflets.
For further information visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0845 04 05 06.
For more information contactCitizens Advice consumer helpline
Tel: 08454 04 05 06