The types of products likely to be offered for sale by doorstep traders include foam mattresses, mobility products and cleaning products. Although many doorstep sellers are honest and genuine it is important to remember that some are not.
Consumers are warned not to act on impulse when traders call unexpectedly to their door but to think carefully and compare prices before agreeing to buy anything. You should not feel pressured into making an immediate purchase.
John Eden Jones, Fair Trading Officer at Gwynedd Council’s Trading Standards Unit said: “We are trying to raise awareness about how to deal with doorstep sellers. Consumers should always remember that a doorstep seller’s aim is to get a person to buy their goods buy and some can be extremely persuasive.
“Once inside someone’s home, doorstep sellers expect a sale and our experience shows that many of them do not give up easily. We would advise anyone under pressure from a doorstep caller to tell them that you need to discuss it with someone else before making a decision.”
Gwynedd Council’s Trading Standards Unit has drawn-up a series of top tips for consumers to remember to protect themselves. These include:
- only deal with callers by appointment
- if in doubt, say 'no thank you' and close the door
- ask to see identification and check that the trader’s full postal address and landline telephone number are legitimate;
- think before you buy
- ask for more time if you're not sure
- be aware of doorstep sellers who say they will only accept cash or are prepared to do a deal for payment in cash;
- pay by credit card for goods or services costing more than £100. The credit card company will give you some protection
- get a receipt with the name and address and contact number of the company on it
- if a doorstep seller refuses to leave, dial 999 and ask for the police
Councillor Stephen Churchman, who leads on trading standards matters for Gwynedd Council added: “Consumers have legal rights when purchasing goods from home or away from trade premises. The law states that, where the goods or services cost over £35, consumers are entitled to a seven day cooling-off period during which they can cancel the contract.
“Remember, sellers must provide prospective buyers with written notice of these rights, along with a cancellation form. If traders do not comply with these requirements, any contract agreed with a customer will not be legally binding. More importantly, such traders will be committing an offence.”
Any member of the public in Gwynedd who requires any further advice or information can contact Gwynedd Council's Trading Standards Unit on (01286) 682728 or e-mail: email@example.com