Trading Standards Information and Advice: Watch out for the doorstep sellers

A general warning is being issued to residents across East Sussex to be wary of doorstep sellers.

The warning follows complaints to East Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards team about a doorstep salesman trying to flog items of kitchenware.

The salesman, who drives a silver people carrier and is thought to be operating across the County, is selling ‘Kaiserbach’ knives, saucepans and cutlery sets. He claims that the cutlery is left over from a trade fair.

Trading Standards is concerned that consumers are being duped into the sale, not given the option to cancel or change their minds and feel the items are possibly being misrepresented.

Councillor Maynard, Lead Member for Economy, Transport and Environment said “Our warning to consumers across the County is to be very cautious of any cold callers. People should remember that, if they purchase products or services costing over £35 on their doorstep, they have a seven-day cooling off period in which time to change their mind. This must be provided by the seller at the time of sale in writing”.

Door to door sellers should:

• show identification that gives their name and their company name

• make it clear from the start of your conversation that they are selling something

• not pressure you into buying something

Most people who call at your home will be genuine. But sometimes people turn up unannounced with the intention of tricking people either by high pressure selling or using false identification. If you are in any doubt don’t let them in.

Official visitors should always arrange an appointment beforehand. If you’re not expecting them and you are alone then ask them to call back later when you have somebody with you – legitimate callers will always be happy to do this.

The County Council’s Trading Standards Service operates a Rapid Action Team that can intervene if a doorstep salesperson has infringed your rights. To report a doorstep seller to our Rapid Action Team call (01323) 463430.

If you are at all suspicious about a doorstep caller, please report the matter to Consumer Direct 08454 04 05 06.

For more general information about Trading Standards please visit the County Council’s website at www.eastsussex.gov.uk/consumeradvice