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Doorstep selling

Published Monday, March 25, 2019

This Commons briefing paper provides an outline of the current regulation of doorstep selling (or cold calling) under the provisions of the Consumer Contracts Regulations. It also provides information on how 'No Cold Calling Zones' work in practice.

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Doorstep selling or cold calling refers to a salesperson making an unsolicited call for the first time at a person’s home to sell goods or services face-to-face. It is not unusual for constituents to complain about the tactics used by some doorstep salesmen, resulting in them being pressured into buying goods or services they did not want.

In the UK, there is no law to prevent doorstep selling. However, all traders must comply with the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013  (known as ‘the consumer Contracts Regulations’) or face possible prosecution by Trading Standards.

It is also possible for a local community to set-up its own ‘No Cold Calling Zone’. This is where local residents work with their local authority Trading Standards Services and the police to stop uninvited salespeople from calling at homes in a designated street or area.

This Commons briefing paper provides an outline of the key provisions of the Consumer Contracts Regulations. It also provides information on how ‘No Cold Calling Zones’ work in practice.

Commons Briefing papers SN05632

Author: Lorraine Conway

Topic: Consumers

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