The Office of Fair Trading are launching a campaign against doorstep selling today.
You might think it isn’t a problem, around 96% of people claim they would never use a doorstep trader; however, around 25% admit that they might be tempted in some circumstances to have work carried out straight away.
It’s these people that rogue traders target, knowing that by creating a pressure situation (even if that pressure is not apparent to their victim) they can improve their chances of a successful con. Last year there were over 12,000 complaints about doorstep callers and over 5,000 of these related to house maintenance. But that’s the tip of the iceberg, there are clearly hundreds of thousands that don’t complain. And a real problem of under-reporting from those who fall victim. One story I heard recently from elsewhere in the country was of a former senior police officer who had lost tens of thousands of pounds but was too embarrassed of falling victim to report it.
The council and police partnership are very proactive in tackling this problem (I recently posted about Operation Liberal) and are continuing to look at how we can tackle it. The OFT campaign is designed to complement the work taking place locally so keep an eye out for it.