Birmingham City Council

Doorstep Sales and Rogue Traders

Any trader who calls at your home without an appointment, and who you then employ to do a job, has to give you details of your right to cancel in writing. This even applies if you employ someone as a result of getting a leaflet through your door. If you enter into a credit agreement which you sign off trade premises, you have five days from receiving your second statutory copy of the agreement in which to cancel.

OFT Doorstoppers Campaign
The Office of Fair Trading are promoting this campaign to raise awareness to consumers to never deal with traders who knock on the door. On their website there is top tips when dealing with people at the door. There are leaflets and door hangers to hang on your door, to remind you to think twice when answering the door.
For more information, please follow the link http://www.oft.gov.uk//OFTwork/consumer-protection/campaign11-12/doorstep/#named1

Doorstoppers
If you have problems with traders calling at your door uninvited who try to persuade you to have work done on your house then our Doorstoppers campaign can help.

The purpose of Doorstoppers is to highlight and help combat the problem of doorstep sellers who prey on vulnerable consumers by raising awareness of the problem and providing practical help and information on the many ways in which consumers can protect themselves from rogue traders on the doorstep. Doorstoppers improves the level of Community Safety and so reduces the fear that these traders can cause.

We work with other agencies and provide a RAPID RESPONSE SERVICE (see our Hotline telephone number below) which means we can respond immediately in cases where older or more vulnerable people have these tradesmen at the door and are being pressured into having work done. If we are informed we can even make arrangements to be there if such workmen are coming back later.

Our Advice
If a trader knocks on your door, stating you need some work doing or offering to carry out work on your property, then our best advice is to just SAY NO

If you are having problems with rogue property repairers or you have a neighbour or friend who is the target of these "traders" please contact our rogue trader hotline on 0121 303 9367. Alternatively you can use our Trading Standards Online Form. You can also request doorstop stickers from us using the contact details above and also a 'Think Twice' Booklet.

Tackling Rogue Traders
Operation Liberal is a joint operation between Trading Standards Authorities and West Midlands Police to tackle rogue traders operating throughout the West Midlands. Rogue traders are traders who go out intentionally to take advantage of consumers and to charge large amounts of money for little or very poor workmanship.

During October 2011 Birmingham Trading Standards and officers from the West Midlands Police were stopping vans, visiting building sites and speaking to workers and consumers in order to enforce the law, to crack down on any known rogue traders, and to advise traders who were not complying with the law.

Other operations have also taken place throughout the year. Birmingham Trading Standards have spoken with 44 traders. All of which have been advised and only a couple found to be complying with the law.

Throughout this operation homeowners were advised and provided with information leaflets and stickers.

No Cold Calling Zones
Trading Standards has established three No Cold Calling Zones in Birmingham. These are in the areas of Sheldon/Garretts Green, Sparkhill and Yardley. The zones are intended to reduce doorstep (rogue) traders and distraction burglary.
These areas have been sign posted as 'No Cold Calling Zones'. Residents have received leaflets advising about doorstep crime and patrols tackle traders calling door to door. There is also a dedicated rapid response to incidents of uninvited callers.

Consumers Top Ten Tips
The Office of Fair Trading have produced a toolkit as part of the Home Repair and Improvement Research Prjoect. For more information and to view this toolkit please see Top Ten Tips.

Finding a Builder
No Rogue Traders Here Ltd
is an online business directory, which provides consumers with a list of reputable traders who have had their history checked with Trading Standards. Reasonable steps have been taken to ensure the traders listed are reputable and treat consumers fairly, however contracts are entered into at the consumers risk. For more information go to www.noroguetradershere.com or phone their helpline on 0800 233 5000.

No Rogue Traders Here website

Guidance for Businesses
The Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumers Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008 controls the law relating to traders who knock door to door and enter into contracts. These Regulations ensure traders issue a cancellation notice to consumers in the home, which provides them with a 7 day cooling off period. For information relating to this then please see our Business Advice page.