Summer warning over cold-calling crooksAuthorities braced for upsurge in complaints

28 June 2007

 

A row of terrace houses

All homes with 4 or more bedrooms will now need a HIP

Householders have been warned to be on their guard against cold-calling conmen.

The summer months are traditionally the ‘hotspot’ period for complaints about door-to-door crooks.

Consumer Direct – the government’s telephone and online consumer advice service – said that more than 8,600 people called last year to complain about unwanted callers offering to sell products or services at the door.

The worst month for complaints is August (877 complaints last year), followed by September (831) and July (794).

Paving gangs generated the most complaints overall (865 in a year), closely followed by complaints about callers offering to do general building work (616), roofing (536), double glazing, guttering, fascias and gardening.

Paving gangs

Also in the top ten were cold-callers offering electricity and telephone services.

Carol Brady, Operations Manager for Consumer Direct said: ‘Before you part with your hard earned cash on the doorstep, ask Consumer Direct for advice. Many people sign up for goods and services and later regret it.

‘In some circumstances you may have rights to cancel for up to seven days after you sign a contract, but it’s often better to spend time considering an offer before accepting it as you could save yourself time and money.’

If you are concerned about the activities of doorstep callers operating in your area and if you are worried about elderly or vulnerable neighbours being targeted, you can contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or your local trading standards service for advice.