There are a range of ways in which you can protect yourself when purchasing goods and services.
Be careful who you invite into your home
So far this year, over 600 complaints have been received by the Citizens Advice Consumer Line regarding the activities of uninvited doorstep callers in the East of England.
Everyone is vulnerable to cold callers and it is often hard to say ‘no’. Research shows that this is particularly true for elderly consumers who are often targeted by rogue salespeople and people offering to carry out work on their home or garden.
Decisions made on the doorstep can result in a great amount of distress for those who are duped out of money for substandard products or services. It is crucial to be aware of your consumer rights.
Trading Standards is offering consumers a free sticker that goes on their front door with the message “We do not buy or sell at the front door”. Traders who ignore this message may be committing a criminal offence.
The sticker can be collected by calling from Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06.
Trading Standards is making a plea to friends, neighbours, families and carers of older and / or vulnerable people to report any incidents to us, so we can help put a stop to rogue traders.
In addition, the Office of Fair Trading offers the following Top Ten Tips for consumers who want to buy safely and confidently in their home:
1. Don’t sign on the spot
2. Check the trader’s identity
3. Be wary of special offers or warnings about your home
4. Always shop around for the best price
5. Read the small print
6. Double check the facts
7. Talk to someone you trust for a second opinion
8. Don’t hand over a cash deposit and never agree to the trader taking you to the bank to take money out
9. Think carefully before you agree to a trader starting any work straight away
10. Trust your instincts – if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!
It is always a good idea to ask around your friends and family to see if they can recommend a tradesman or business to you.
Care Homes and Home Care Providers
Care homes, such as residential and nursing homes, and home care providers must all be registered with the Care Quality Commission. You can look on the Care Quality Commission website to see the latest inspection report on the provider.
Other services that you are buying
You might want to look on the Safe Local Trades website which shows traders who have been through a vetting process.