Doorstep crime warnings
- Doorstep Callers - Property Maintenance Work - August 2017
Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is warning the public to be wary of cold callers at the door offering property maintenance work, including roof work. Reports have been received from the Fareham and Gosport area, but the warning applies to all of Hampshire.
Although consumers have statutory rights when buying at the door, including a 14 day right to cancel for goods over £42, the right to a refund, replacement or repair if the goods are faulty, falsely described or not fit for purpose. Those rights can only be exercised if the seller is a trader, and if they give full and correct contact information. Trading Standards recommend residents do not buy goods at the door.
- Doorstep Callers - Council Tax Band - August 2017
Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Service is repeating an alert from last year, urging residents to be alert to cold callers at the door and/or phone claiming to be from ‘the Council’. The callers may claim the resident’s property is in the wrong Council Tax Band, and that they are due some money back.
They offer to investigate further but ask for a upfront fee, often at the door.
Reports have been received from the Basingstoke area, but warning applies countywide.
Councils will not cold call or ask for money at the door.
- Cold callers - Solar Panel Device - July 2017
Hampshire Trading Standards would like residents to be alert to cold callers at the door or on the telephone, offering to fit a device that allegedly cuts out the power supply to/from solar panels in the event of a fire.
Reports suggest the caller claims new laws are coming into force to cover fire safety linked to solar panels, and that the Fire Service will not attend fires in homes where their solar panels have caught fire. This is, of course, untrue.
For further information on renewable energy contact the Energy Savings Trust on 0300 123 1234.
- Doorstep and telephone cold callers offering spray foam loft insulation – July 2017
Hampshire Trading Standards would like residents to be alert to cold callers at the door and/or on the telephone offering to spray foam insulation for lofts. The caller may make false claims such as they are working for or on behalf of local authorities, or that they work with Trading Standards.
They may make exaggerated claims about the merits of the foam and its ability to prevent heat loss, also about the savings that can be achieved balanced against the cost of installation. Claims that existing glass fibre insulation no longer meet current regulations, or will soon be illegal, are untrue.
Although in some cases spray foam insulation can be effective, it can also cause problems if incorrectly applied, and is often unnecessary. One of the main problems can be lack of ventilation to the roof space, which can cause condensation and damp. Often the wooden roof beams are encased in the foam, this can cause the wood to rot inside.
Once applied, the foam is almost impossible to remove without damaging the roof. Therefore, it is important to research the suitability of the foam for the property before having it installed. The resale value of the property may be affected if the foam is unsuitable.
The National Insulation Association (NIA) represents the insulation industry in the United Kingdom and have a code of professional practice that all members agree to follow. It is recommended that you always use an NIA installer or by calling 08451 636363.
For further information on energy savings you can contact the Energy Savings Trust on 0300 123 1234
- Doorstep callers selling mattresses - West End and Locks Heath areas
Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is warning the public to be wary of cold callers at the door offering beds & mattresses or for sale. Reports have been received from the West End and Locks Heath areas, but the warning applies to all of Hampshire. Trading Standards suspect these goods are not fit for purpose, and are concerned about possible safety implications.
Although consumers have statutory rights when buying at the door, including a 14 day right to cancel, the right to a refund, replacement or repair if the goods are faulty, falsely described or not fit for purpose. Those rights can only be exercised it the seller is a trader, and if they give full and correct contact information. For further information on buying at the door, click on the following link to Hampshire Trading Standards website Your rights when buying at the door.
Residents are urged to be aware of safety implications in purchasing mattresses at the door. Mattress filling must comply with product safety legislationa, The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988, and be correctly labelled. The label should look like the example below and be positioned so it can be easily seen.