The Office of Fair Trading's 2012-13 'Doorstep Selling Campaign', was launched recently. It aims to empower older or vulnerable consumers to make effective purchasing decisions when buying on their doorstep and reduce their vulnerability to rogue traders. The OFT is working with local authority Trading Standards Services, Citizens Advice and other key players to increase awareness of the issue of rogue doorstep trading amongst the campaign's primary target audience – UK residents over 70 years and their families, friends and carers.
The July campaign provides consumers with practical tips and informs them of their rights including the following:
· Think twice before you buy and if you are made to feel under pressure to make a purchase, have the confidence to say no.
· Be wary of time-limited or exclusive offers that need to be signed on the spot – this can be a high pressure sales tactic.
· Double check the facts. Do you fully understand the costs and know whether it includes extras like installation, on-going serving charges or warranties?
· Always shop around to compare products and prices.
· Talk to someone you trust for a second opinion.
· If you spend more than £35 with a trader on the doorstep, you usually have seven days in which to cancel (subject to certain conditions).
· If in doubt, call the Citizens Advice consumer line on 0845 404 0506 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk