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Weybridge & Surrey Community - Trading Standards > Stop Cold Calling

 

Surrey County Council
 

Reasons For Stopping Cold Calling Can Include Rogue Traders Taking Advantage Of The Elderly

Dementia Sufferer’s ‘Free’ Burglar Alarm
An elderly dementia sufferer pressured into paying £7,000 on a 15-year contract for a ‘free’ burglar alarm has got her money back, thanks to consumer champions at Surrey County Council Trading Standards.
Nesta Hollis, 77, from Esher, Surrey, was recovering from two strokes when she became one of the hundreds of thousands of people a year targeted by rogue traders who prey on the elderly and vulnerable.
As part of National Consumer Week, people are urged to get their hands on a Stop Cold Calling sticker pack to help protect against doorstep crime.
Mrs Hollis was cold called by a company with the offer of a ‘free’ burglar alarm and was later subjected to a three hour sales pitch in her home. The ‘free’ offer turned into a 15-year servicing and monitoring contract at cost of more than £7,000, which the pensioner signed a cheque for.
Mrs Hollis suffers from vascular dementia which means she easily gets tired and confused. Following a complaint to Consumer Direct from Mrs Hollis’ son, Surrey County Council Trading Standards took up the case and dealt with company on her behalf.
The firm was told that because Mrs Hollis suffered from dementia, she did not have the capacity to make such a large financial decision on her own. This invalidated the contract and Mrs Hollis was given a full refund.
Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Mrs Hollis was a vulnerable person attracted by a free offer which ended up costing her thousands of pounds. Thankfully we were able to get her money back. Others may not be as lucky.
I’d urge everyone to get hold of a Stop Cold Calling pack and display the stickers telling doorstep traders to go away.”
Stop Cold Calling - Gloria Hunniford at the launch of National Consumer Week
Steve Playle from Surrey County Council Trading Standards with Gloria Hunniford at the launch of National Consumer Week
 
Surrey County Council Trading Standards Stop Cold Calling Sticker Pack
More than 80,000 people have picked up a Surrey County Council Trading Standards Stop Cold Calling sticker pack in the past year. Research revealed the packs helped:
  51% of people feel safer in their home
  75% of people feel more confident when dealing with a doorstep trader
  83% feel more aware about how to get support and advice
A total of 60% of people said they were less likely to buy from a doorstep trader if they were displaying a no cold calling sticker.
Cold Callers can target the elderly
Cold Callers can target the elderly & vulnerable
 

To Get Hold Of A Sticker Pack

For more information about the Stop Cold Calling initiative by Trading Standards at Surrey County Council, including information on how to get hold of a sticker pack, visit www.surreycc.gov.uk/stopcoldcallers
 
National Consumer Week
This campaign was the subject of a prior year National Consumer Week . Although that week has passed, the need for this message remains necessary, with a simple message from the Trading Standards Institute – ‘cold calling, don’t buy it’.
Buy With Confidence
People looking for a reliable trader can use the Buy With Confidence scheme which features a list of traders vetted by Surrey County Council Trading Standards.
Buy With Confidence - Vetted Traders
 
Visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk for more information.
 

 
 

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