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Cold Callers

Be Aware of Cold-Callers

 

Bedford Borough Council’s Environmental Health & Trading Standards are reminding people to stay safe in their homes and to be aware of cold calling doorstep traders.

 

In Bedford Borough there has recently been a spate of ‘cold calling’, where consumers have claimed that ‘builders’ or ‘roofing specialists’ have tried pressurising residents into agreeing to have works carried out on their home. It has been reported by residents that the completed works have been of poor quality.

 

Pressuring consumers may be considered illegal under current consumer protection legislation.

 

In a recent case, Bedford Borough Council’s Environmental Health & Trading Standards team acted on intelligence received from residents regarding a trader in the Borough that had carried out some roofing and guttering work after pressuring them into undertaking work.

 

Thanks to the vigilant resident who alerted Neighbourhood Watch, Council officers were able to intervene and challenge the trading tactics being used by the roofing company in question.

 

Cllr Colleen Atkins, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Regulatory Services, said: “I congratulate the resident who reported the cold calling trader to Neighbourhood Watch which resulted in a successful intervention by the Council.”

 

“It is unfortunate that some traders aim to exploit residents, some of whom are vulnerable, in order to gain money either by deception or misrepresentation.  Agreeing to pay for any service on the basis of a doorstep visit carries risks and we would strongly advise residents not to do this.”

 

“It is important to remember that all traders are required to provide paperwork confirming a statutory 7 day cooling-off period providing the consumer the opportunity to change their mind so you should never feel rushed or pressured into having work carried out.”

 

“Neighbourhood Watch has an important role in reporting cold callers or suspicious people who knock at your door unexpectedly. Don’t hesitate to report them to the police immediately.”

 

To report an incident please contact Bedfordshire Police on 101, or for further information please contact Environmental Health & Trading Standards at Bedford Borough Council on 01234 718099 or Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

 

To obtain an ‘Uninvited Trader Warning’ sticker for your front door, please contact Lynne Arch, Neighbourhood Watch administrator, on 01234 842 043.

 

Neighbourhood Watch

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