Rogue traders: how to spot the warning signs

By law, anyone who signs a contract in their home, whether or not they’ve invited the person there in the first place, has certain rights under consumer protection law. 

These include the right to cancel within seven days. If you signed a contract after a salesman or woman came to see you at home (or work) and the goods or service cost more than £35, you have the right to cancel the contract if you change your mind. 

You also have protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. These laws were introduced in 2008 to give consumers wide-ranging protection from aggressive or misleading traders. The problem is that if you don’t have anything in writing and you don’t have contact details for the company, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to enforce this law. 

You might find it’s more effective to ban cold callers in the first place. Trading Standards and the police work together in many areas to enable people to set up ‘no cold calling zones’. It’s not something you have the automatic right to do – the street or area normally has to have a high proportion of older or vulnerable people. 

Contact your parish council to find out more about setting up a no cold calling zone in your area. Bear in mind, however, that even if you have the backing of your council and other residents, the zones have no legal status and it would not be illegal for traders to call at homes that don’t display a door sticker.

Author: wpadmin

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