Trading standards

Doorstep crime

What is it?

Doorstep crime is when rogue traders knock at your door and pressure you into buying something or signing up for a service. The most common doorstep crime includes:

  • Traders offering guttering/roofing or paving services (also called cold calling).
  • Gardening or tree cutting services.
  • Taking deposits and not returning to do the work.
  • Charging unreasonable prices.
  • Not giving cancellation notices out to consumers after cold calls.
  • Taking consumers to banks or building societies.
  • Hard sell of products, causing fear to consumers.
  • Shoddy or poor work, causing consumers to pay out again.
  • Refusing to sort out problems.
  • No guarantees or warranties.

Remember - You're in your own home and you are not obliged to buy anything from anyone at anytime.

What to do if you are approached by doorstep traders

Not all traders are dishonest, but there are things you should do to make sure you don't become a victim.

  • Identify who is calling by insisting on seeing and checking their identification.  Use a spyhole or door chain.
  • Don't be rushed into agreeing to buy. Take time to make a decision.
  • If you have any suspicions or concerns, ask the trader to leave, close the door and call the police or contact trading standards.
  • Do not allow any callers or workmen to take you to the bank, building society or post office.

Report a trader involved in doorstep crime

If you are contacted by such traders or aware of any in your area, please contact trading standards with the following information:

  • Address or area where trader is working.
  • Description of trader.
  • Vehicle and registration.
  • Type of work.
  • Is trader still present.