Issued By
Cumbria County Council

Cumbrians Reject Cold-Calling

Cumbrian householders do not want doorstep sellers cold-calling at their front door.

That is the overwhelming response in a survey carried out by Cumbria County Council Trading Standards in November last year. Of 808 respondents, only one welcomed doorstep selling. 97.5% said they do not want doorstep sellers to call on them.

Over 50% of respondents had been visited at least once in the last 3 months, and as many as 21% indicated an area where they have had bad experiences. Only 1 in 8 people had reported their problems to the authorities. Significant areas where Cumbrians had experienced problems were energy sales, double glazing, tarmaccing and household repairs, and housewares. Problems ranged from hard sell going on late into the night, to faulty goods and services through to intimidation.

Fifteen Trading Standards departments across the country took part in the survey. 2,500 Cumbrian householders were contacted, 808 or 32% replied – an extremely high rate of return for a postal survey.

Nationally the Trading Standards Institute is calling for a ban on cold-calling by property repair, and home maintenance & improvement businesses in the light of the survey.

Jack Richardson, Community Safety Spokesman for Cumbria County Council, said:

“The results of this survey show not only a high level of problems with doorstep selling, but also widespread public opposition to this way of doing business. The results of the survey will be taken to the local Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnerships, and will be considered by the County Council to determine the best course of action. The fact that so many for the respondents showing concern are elderly is particularly worrying, and we need to see what can be done for them.”


Notes for Editors:

1. Attached are copies of:

· Survey form
· Breakdown of Cumbria responses
· Summary report of Cumbrian returns
· Trading Standards Institute national press release
· Breakdown of national responses

2. For details of individuals’ comments, and to interview a respondent, please contact the officers below

3. The 15 local authorities that took part in the survey are as follows:

Durham County Council Lancashire County Council
West Yorkshire Joint Services Shetland Islands
Solihull Met. Borough Council Carmarthenshire County Council
Northumberland County Council Barnsley Met. Borough Council
Gloucestershire County Council Fife Council
Cumbria County Council Kent County Council
London Borough of Newham North Yorkshire County Council
East Riding of Yorkshire

4. Further details available from Pat Thomas or Phil Ashcroft on 01539 773594.