Cold Calling & Rogue Traders


No Cold Calling Zones are designed to give a clear message to traders and other business callers that residents in the area do not wish to receive unsolicited calls.

Currently, it is not illegal for a trader to cold call and Councils have absolutely no powers to stop cold callers. However, No Cold Calling Signs, which are visible throughout Central Bedfordshire, act as a deterrent to unwanted callers and help to cut doorstep crime.

Trading Standards may get involved if there is mis-selling or there is some sort of aggressive practice (i.e. the same business keeps coming back after they have been told to go away).

To report an unwanted doorstep caller, please call the bogus caller hotline on 03454 04 05 06


Rogue Traders
Typically, rogue traders may knock on the door offering to tarmac the drive or repair loose roof tiles in return for a small fee. In some cases, the work is unnecessary and victims may find that any work done is substandard and the price far higher than anticipated.
• Although door-to-door canvassing is not illegal, we would always encourage people to think very carefully before agreeing to have any work done straightaway and avoid handing over cash up front.'
• The Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work Regulations 2008 require all doorstep traders to provide consumers with a seven day cooling-off period in writing, provided the price is more than £35.
• Consumers who request work to start before the cooling off period ends still have the right to cancel, but may be liable to pay reasonable costs for any work done.
• The new regulations also make it against the law for aggressive practices to be used. These include the hard, pressurized selling tactics adopted by some doorstep traders who force customers to pay cash immediately for home repairs
• Businesses who do not comply with the new laws face a range of penalties from a written warning to, in the worst cases, criminal prosecution.
If you want to reduce the number of unwanted telephone sales calls, junk mail, junk faxes and SPAM (unsolicited email), register your personal details with the Telephone, Mail, Fax and Email preference services as follows


To reduce/stop addressed direct marketing mail
Mailing Preference Service
Freepost 29 LON20771
London
W1E 0ZT
Tel: 0845 703 4599

To reduce/stop unaddressed (i.e to the occupier/householder) mail and leaflets delivered by Royal Mail
Freepost RRBT-ZBXB-TTTS
Door-to-door opt-outs
Royal Mail
Kingsmead House
Oxpens Road
OXFORD
OX1
Tel: 01793 483853
Email: optout@royalmail.co.uk


To reduce/stop unsolicited marketing faxes
Website: www.fpsonline.org.uk
Tel: 0845 0700 702


To reduce/stop unsolicited telephone sales calls
Telephone Preference Service
70 Margaret Street
London, W1W 8SS
Web: www.tpsonline.org.uk
Tel: 0845 070 0707


To reduce/stop unsolicited marketing e-mails
The Regulations require that Unsolicited Commercial E-mails (UCE) can only be sent to an individual with the prior consent of the addressee, but with an exemption for UCE where the addressee has already given his or her e-mail address direct to the sender in the context of the purchase of a product or service. This opt-in protection will apply to individual, but not corporate subscribers. The Regulations also state that regardless of who the UCE is sent to, it must contain valid sender and contact details. Complaints about apparent breaches of these regulations should be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who can be contacted as follows:
Tel: 01625 845 700
Email: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk

There is also a non-statutory scheme that you can register with to not receive UCE - the EMPS (E-mail Preference Scheme) is operated by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) in the United States. Note that the database is held in the US, and personal data is not, therefore, covered by UK Data Protection legislation.
Web: www.dmachoice.org


To reduce/stop unsolicited marketing SMS (text) messages
The Regulations require SMS messages to be sent only with the prior consent of the subscriber, but with an exemption where the subscriber has already given his or her mobile telephone number direct to a company in the context of the purchase of a product or service. This opt-in protection will apply to individual, but not corporate subscribers. The Regulations also state that regardless of who the SMS message is sent to, it must contain valid sender and contact details. Complaints about apparent breaches of these regulations should be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who can be contacted as follows:

Tel: 01625 845 700
Email: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk


To reduce/stop unsolicited mail arriving for a late husband, wife or partner.
It can be upsetting to receive mail for a loved one that has passed away. You can register your details with The Bereavement Register. This is a free service operated by The REaD Group (UK) Ltd(new window), who is a member of the Direct Marketing Association.
Tel: 0870 600 7222


Other direct marketing issues
If you have recently made a purchase by telephone mail order and think your personal details have been passed on from one company to another (without your permission) and as a result, the amount of unsolicited mail you are receiving has increased, then this is an issue covered by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). Under DPA, if personal data is being disclosed to a third party for marketing purposes the individual concerned should have the opportunity to opt out. The Information Commissioner, who is responsible for administering and enforcing the legislation, recommends this as good practice. The Department for Constitutional Affairs has policy responsibility for the DPA.

Department for Constitutional Affairs
Freedom of Information & Data Protection Division
Room 151
Selborne House
London
SW1E 6QW
Tel: 020 7960 6517
Email: fidp@dca.gsi.gov.uk
Web: www.ico.gov.uk

If you have registered with the MPS and are still receiving unsolicited mail you should write directly to the organisation concerned requesting that they remove his details from their mailing list. If the mailings continue and the matter cannot be resolved informally, the Information Commissioner can consider whether to take enforcement action against those companies who are in breach of the Data Protection Act.

The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AX
Tel: 01625 545745
Web: Information Commissioner

This information was obtained from the Central Bedfordshire Consumer web page

Citizens Advice Consumer Service: 08454 04 05 06 or their website