Home Owners Advice - Understand the Rules Behind Doorstep Selling

Doorstep and Pressure Selling Most of us have had a knock on our door and opened it to find someone there selling something. Doorstep selling is still popular in the UK, but it is regulated and sellers must ensure that all sales they make adhere to the rules. Furthermore they must be sure they don't push people into buying something they do not want.

The Office of Fair Trading released information during the summer that warned of an increase in the number of rogue traders operating door to door sales drives. Enquiries and offers of services relating to home maintenance were the most common approach made by such traders, with roofing services topping the list. Laying tarmac; paving and insulation work came next.

There is no law against traders going door to door in order to drum up business. But they must follow the rules applying to doorstep selling otherwise they would be breaking the law. A Stockport based business found this out to their cost during the summer, as they lost their consumer credit license after employing aggressive selling techniques to sell more burglar alarms and fire alarms. This should serve as a warning to other companies who are perhaps not aware of the rules they must adhere to with regard to doorstep selling.

Firstly the law states that the person who is selling a service or product must carry appropriate identification with them. This should have their name on it and also the name of the company they are working for. In addition to this they must be clear they are a salesperson and hope to get a sale from their door to door activities. If they do not they are breaking the law.

Every company that employs door to door salespeople should be fully aware of the laws surrounding doorstep selling. Being unaware of the extent of these laws does not excuse behaviour that contradicts these laws. For instance if someone knocked at your home and sold you a product, you have seven days to decide whether you want to keep it or not. This is referred to as a cooling off period.

Even if you have paid for the item you are entitled to a refund if you decide you bought in haste and no longer want the item. If the company or salesperson refuses to give you your money back, they are breaking the law and you can report them to Consumer Direct or the Office of Fair Trading.



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