Cold Callers – The uninvited stranger on your doorstep

29th Jan 2021 | Residential

Over the last few weeks, the LSS Security Patrol team have received several reports from clients regarding uncomfortable encounters with cold callers or door to door sales persons. Whilst Cold Calling isn’t necessarily illegal, the intrusive nature of this aggressive sales tactic can create tension and unnecessary discomfort.

What is cold calling?
Cold Calling is the act of carrying out uninvited visits to a residential home or property in an attempt to sell products or services.

Is Cold Calling illegal?
Cold calling is not by definition, illegal however it does not take a lot to become so. If your property displays a clear sign warning against cold calling then anyone ignoring these signs may be committing a criminal offense. If these signs are not present, any trader who ignores your requests for them to leave and not return could also be breaking the law. Also, during the COVID-19 pandemic the irresponsible nature of in-person visits could breach lock-down rules which could lead to heavy fines for the perpetrator.

If a trader does cold call or offers to sell you a service, or any product that costs in excess for £42, they must be able to provide you with a written notice giving you a 14 day cool off period in which you can freely cancel the agreement. Any trader failing to produce this could be in breach of trading standards regulations and could therefore be committing an illegal offense.

How can I prevent Cold Callers from calling at my residency?
Use clear signage or window stickers stating that you will not accept cold calling at your home. If these signs are ignore, proceed to tell the trader that they are to leave and you are not to be bothered again in future. If they fail to follow these instructions and you feel intimidated in any way, contact your local LSS Patrol team or contact the police.

Can I refuse them entry to my property?
Absolutely.

Very few people should have a valid reason for visiting your home uninvited or without an appointment. You should never let someone you do not know into your home without a valid, prearranged reason on your own terms. The most likely people to visit your home without prior notice or consent would likely be staff from utility companies in order to take a reading from your energy meters. Most companies operate a security password scheme allowing you to register a safeword/password which the attending employee must be able to produce when asked.

If you’re ever in doubt about a cold caller’s identity or motive – send them away immediately.

What if they won’t leave or become hostile?
Return inside your property and close the door, leaving them outside. Do not allow them into your home. Ensure you lock all available door locks and activate any additional security devices such as door chains or dead bolts. Ensure any other entry points to your property are securely closed such as windows and back doors. If they fail to leave or continue to act hostile call the police immediately and then call your LSS Patrol Team immediately afterwards.

Reduce Risk

  • If possible, always make use of your existing security devices such as door chains and privacy spy holes in doors.
  • Ask to see valid photo ID and the opportunity to contact the salespersons company before discussing anything.
  • If possible, keep gates leading to the property locked as an early deterrent
  • Display clear signage refusing cold callers or door to door sales people.
  • Install video and voice activated doorbell systems to communicate with the person(s) before deciding to open the door.

If you are at all worried about your residential security or the prospect of unwanted visitors or trespassers, contact LSS London today to discuss further steps you can take to protect your home and family.

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