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Consumers

Trading Standards information for consumers.

Rogue traders or cold callers

Protect yourself from door step rogue traders or cold callers. A cold caller or door step rogue trader is someone who may call or visit you unannounced. They may even be someone you have called who offer home improvements, may try to sell you items or sign you up to agreements. Work may often start without you asking them to do so. Prices often inflate and work is substandard if needed at all.

At your home

You can protect yourself from cold callers and rogue traders at your door.

  • Keep your front and back doors secure at all times.
  • Don’t open the door to cold callers – they could be a rogue trader.
  • It is your home – you can close the door and end the conversation at any time.
  • If you do open the door, ensure the chain is secured before opening.
  • Ask for ID to confirm who they are and check this using a number from the phone book or internet – not the number on their card.
  • If they offer to do work on your property you can say “no thanks” and shut the door.
  • Do not keep large sums of money at home.

Report a door step cold calling incident

You can report a cold-calling incident to Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service by calling 0808 223 1133.

If a cold caller is at your door and you feel unsafe or have told them to go away and they refuse, call the police on 101 or if it is urgent call 999.

Or, report it to Trading Standards, if you just want to report an issue, but don't require advice.

Avoiding rogue traders

When getting any repairs done to your home, ensure you obtain as much information about the business before you make a decision to have work carried out. Don’t be rushed into agreeing to any work. Obtain quotes from elsewhere if you think work is required on your home before making a decision.

  • Remember that consumers have a 14 day cooling off period to cancel contracts made in their homes and this along with other information must be given in writing. If the business won’t give information about these rights they may be a rogue trader.
  • If you decide to have work carried out never pay cash, never pay up front, and never let the trader take you to the bank to withdraw any money

Further reading 

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