Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service

“A FOOT IN THE DOOR” NATIONAL CONSUMER WEEK 11-15TH NOV 2002

 

Every year, Trading Standards Services across the country promote National Consumer Week and this year’s theme is “A Foot in the Door”.  West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service is organising various events throughout the week hoping to warn and educate people about the harm that can come from doorstep selling and other doorstep contacts. 

There are many problems associated with the sale of goods and services on the doorstep, such as being sold shoddy goods or conned into unnecessary work on property.  Often the price charged is excessive, but consumers can fall victim to high pressured sales tactics; often a huge discount is offered for signing on the dotted line straight away, but inflated prices usually mean the consumer still ends up paying a lot more than they would with a little shopping around.

On Monday 11th November, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service will be promoting the First Check Point scheme at Leeds Civic Hall.  First Check Point offers older adults a method of finding an honest tradesperson to do jobs around the home and garden.  Accredited traders are put through a rigorous vetting procedure, including police checks before being allowed to participate in the scheme.  Brian Megson, joint co-ordinator of the scheme, will attend the event along with some accredited traders.

On Tuesday 12th November, West Yorkshire Trading Standards will be signing up to the National Cold Calling Protocol.  As part of this initiative Trading Standards Officers visiting people in their homes will now carry ID in large print making them easily identifiable. 

On Wednesday 13th November, West Yorkshire Trading Standards will host a performance by the Feeling Good Theatre Company whose powerful production aims to use drama to raise awareness about doorstep crime.  Other organisations, including police and victim support, will attend the day recognising the alarming link between doorstep sales and distraction burglary.  Brian Steele, Leeds Distraction Burglary Initiative Co-ordinator, will also give advice about protecting yourself against this type of crime.

On Thursday 14th November West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service will be joining forces with the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux (NACAB). By learning about CAB clients’ experience of doorstep selling, the organisations will be exploring new ways of tackling the issue.

 

For further information please contact:

 

Mr. David Lovell – Trading Standards Officer Tel 0113 2898 233

Mr. Tony Downham – Principal Trading Standards Officer – 0113 289 8247

Mrs Linda Davis – Educations and Promotions Officer – Tel. 0113 289 8246

Mr. Graham Hebblethwaite – General Media Contact – 0113 289 8218

 

Notes to Editors

Several more detailed press releases will be sent out to cover the individual events, but the following details should help with forward planning:

 

Monday:

The launch will take place at 9.30am at Leeds Civic Hall, with the Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield and Brian Megson of First Checkpoint.

First Check Point scheme went live on 30th October 2001.  At 30th July 2002, 2,065 calls had been taken.  80% were allocated to live contractors and the rest were either referred to other agencies or being offered constructive advice on their problem.

Of the jobs allocated, 80% have been completed with the balance having been accepted with work to start at a future date.  The take-up rate (jobs quoted against quotes accepted) is 87%, a remarkable figure for any business.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service fully supports this initiative and the Education and Promotions team are working together on ways of improving the scheme with a view to subsequently rolling it out throughout West Yorkshire. 

Tuesday: Photo opportunity of councillors with large ID at Leeds Civic Hall 12.30pm, Huddersfield at 2.30pm (venue to be confirmed). Times of photo opportunities at Bradford, Calderdale and Wakefield to be confirmed.  General photo opportunity at West Yorkshire Trading Standards, Morley at 9.30am.   Please see attached example of large ID.

Wednesday: Event to be held at West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, Morley.  Visitors arriving from 2pm.  Brian Steele speaking 2.30-3.15pm.  Theatre group performing 3.30-4.15pm. 

Thursday:  Dates and times of interviews with specific bureaux to be confirmed.