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New doorstep selling rules save consumers £8.5m

Improved rights save consumers millions each year

Doorstop selling

Consumers are saving millions of pounds in doorstep sales due to improved cancellation rights, a survey on behalf of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has found.

The independent evaluation assessed how easy it was for consumers to cancel unwanted purchases made on the doorstep. 

It focussed on legitimate rather than ‘rogue’ or ‘bogus’ doorstep traders.

Consumers have more confidence

Consumers surveyed for the evaluation said being able to cancel unwanted purchases had increased their confidence when buying on the doorstep.

The government introduced new regulations in 2008 following an investigation into doorstep selling by the OFT in 2004. 

The regulations mean that all consumers who purchase from doorstep sellers must be given written information on both cancellation rights and cooling off periods. 

The regulations also provide extended cancellation rights to cover purchases made following doorstop selling.

Greater regulation still needed

Despite increased consumer confidence, high-pressure sales tactics are still being used to sell some products such as home repair services and mobility aids. 

Tactics include price discounting on the condition that the consumer purchases the product on the same day as the doorstep visit.

OFT Chief Economist, Amelia Fletcher, said: ‘Consumers should remain on their guard. 

High pressure sales tactics are an ongoing problem and consumers should give themselves time to shop around and look for traders displaying an OFT Approved code logo.’

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