Public Urged To Be On Guard Against Rogue Salesmen

Householders in Inverness are being warned to be on their guard against salesmen known to be operating door-to-door offering to carry out window replacement work.

The Highland Council’s Trading Standards Officers are aware that salesmen are making cold calls in the Dalneigh area, offering to replace windows at prices which are said to include large discounts and on the basis that neighbours may be having their windows replaced too.

Nigel Mackenzie, Head of Trading Standards, said: "At this time of year, householders are starting to think of jobs needing done around the house and in the garden.  We are aware that salesmen are currently knocking on doors and attempting to get people to sign agreements.  They are offering what they claim are discount deals which can seem attractive bargains at the time. Householders are often caught off guard and will readily agree without a second thought.”

Mr MacKenzie continued: "Salesmen making unsolicited visits to homes must give the householder a written notice that they have a cooling off period. Customers can change their minds and cancel within seven days. If the customer does not receive a cancellation notice, then the deal is not enforceable and the company cannot insist on payment. More importantly, the salesman may have committed a criminal offence if they have stated any facts which are not true.  My Officers would like to hear from any member of the public who has had such an experience."

Householders are being advised that if salesmen approach them, to consider if what they are being offered is actually a bargain, do they really need the goods; and to verify any verbal statements made before signing.  Also consider obtaining several quotes from competitors to ensure costs are reasonable.  If anyone feels threatened or uneasy about a visit from unknown salesmen they should contact the police.

Householders are urged to contact the Trading Standards Unit with any concerns by telephoning The Highland Council Consumer Helpline 0845 600 4222 (local rate, mobile call costs may vary) or by e-mail at consumer.advice@highland.gov.uk or call in person to 38 Harbour Road, Inverness.

26 Feb 2007
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