Say “NO” to cold callers
Residents are being urged by Bath & North East Somerset Council to say "NO" to cold callers for National Consumer Week (12-19 November).
The aim of the nationwide campaign, organised by the Trading Standards Institute, is to protect vulnerable consumers in their own homes and to give them the confidence to say "NO", as well as raising awareness of the fact that cold callers who refuse to go away are breaking the law.
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Bath & North East Somerset Council's Trading Standards team is advising residents not to buy from cold callers, following a spate of complaints about doorstep traders trying to sell cavity wall insulation and loft insulation.
Councillor David Dixon (Lib-Dem, Oldfield), Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: "Although there is no indication at this stage of an offence being committed, some residents have been concerned about traders calling unannounced in the evening, and without any identification.
"The advice from Trading Standards is to always avoid using a business that has cold called on the doorstep and instead use a trader who has been vetted and is a member of an approved trader scheme such as Bath & North East Somerset Council's 'Buy with Confidence' directory.
"The Council is keen to make a positive difference to our local communities and residents by helping to ensure that people feel safe. Doorstep crime is a serious issue that is already being addressed with our 12 'No Cold Calling Zones'. We work closely with the police so we are aware of incidents when they are reported and we are then in a position to do something about them."
The 'No Cold Calling Zones' have been shown to have a significant effect in combating the fear of crime and in reducing rogue trading incidents and distraction burglaries.
Police across Bath and North East Somerset are also keen to alert people, particularly the elderly, about so-called 'distraction' burglars who talk their way in to homes and steal cash and property.
Recently police praised an 82-year-old woman for turning away a probable distraction burglar who claimed he was sent by the council to do some work at her home. She became immediately suspicious and demanded to see proof of his identity – which he didn't have. He eventually gave up and walked away, and the woman called the police.
To obtain a copy of Bath & North East Somerset Council's "Buy with Confidence" approved trader directory (www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk) or the National Consumer Week "Cold Calling – Don't Buy it" leaflet contact the Council's Public Protection Team on 01225 396753 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To report a suspected cold calling doorstep trader or to find out more about your rights call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06. If you feel threatened call the police on 999.
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