Know you cold caller rights

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Cold callers will be feeling the heat after Trading Standards issued a warning to residents about tradesmen cold-calling and offering to undertake work in and around their homes.

Residents have reported a spate of cold calling by builders, gardeners and labourers who are touting for business over the summer months.

The council has joined forces with the Construction Licensing Executive (CLE) to provide information on reputable, competent traders who meet strict quality standards.

Councillor Helen McKenna said: “All too often residents are cold called in their homes and pestered by individuals who may not be as honest as they look. Don’t be conned by rogues and always remember that it’s your front door, and you’re in charge of it. Trading Standards can provide doorstep advice booklets and ‘No Cold Calling’ stickers to those who request them.”

Based on where you live and what work you need done, CLE will give you a list of local companies who are members of their licensing scheme.

This service is free and the work carried out is covered by a warranty scheme and a formal complaints procedure.

The Construction Licensing Executive is a not-for-profit charitable company set up to help protect people from rogue traders in Scotland.

Paul Bannister, Trading Standards manager said the organisation can offer advice to householders about doorstep sellers. They recommend you don’t deal with cold callers, but if you decide to, remember these tips.

Don’t agree to buy from the first person who calls; ask yourself if you really want these goods or services.

Beware of sellers who ask to be paid in cash upfront. Never pay for work before it is completed and don’t hand over large sums of cash.

Don’t listen to scare stories. They are usually nonsense. Beware of traders who suddenly appear after storms or floods. Also beware of claims that a low price is only available if you sign up right away.

If you do need work done then shop around. Get a minimum of three quotes from reputable traders and get recommendations from people you trust.

For jobs costing over £35, traders are required to provide the consumer with a written notice informing them they have a seven day cooling off period during which they can change their mind and cancel the contract.

For further information, call Trading Standards on 01698 274210 or 01236 638800.