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Doorstep selling

Doorstep crime is when rogue traders come to your door, uninvited, and pressure you into buying something or signing up for a service. They often try to sell their product or service in a way which can be very intimidating.

Examples of door step crime are, traders who:  

  • tell you guttering, roofing, garden or paving is in need of urgent repair – this may cause you to panic and allow the work to take place
  • take your deposit and never return to do the work
  • charge unreasonable prices or increase the price of the work as the job progresses
  • don't have cancellation policies or give cancellation notices, guarantees or warranties
  • produce poor quality work and refuse to sort out problems or finish the work

If you are bothered by doorstep callers

Not all doorstep sellers commit a crime.

Avoid doorstep selling scams by remembering these tips:

  • don't agree to anything just to get rid of a seller – don't buy anything you don't want to
  • check and take note of the seller's ID card, including their full address, not just a PO Box or phone number - check the address exists
  • if you tell someone to leave your home, it's a criminal offence if they don't do as you ask
  • even if a seller tells you your cancellation rights, remember that once you pay them they have the money and you don't!
  • get a receipt – any guarantee is worthless if a business disappears, or ceases trading
  • don't pay the full amount or a large deposit up front
  • get and keep a copy of any paperwork, advert or flyer

Deter doorstep sellers 

Print out our No Cold Calling poster (PDF, 236kb) and stick it to your front door.

Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, it may be a criminal offence for a trader to ignore your sign.

The law says

Doorstep selling regulations are available to view on the UK Government website.

It is a legal requirement that traders trade fairly. By law, for contracts concluded away from trade premises, consumers must be given a 14 day cooling off period to consider, or cancel, contracts costing more than £42.

Report doorstep calling

Find out how to report a trader involved in doorstep crime on our Report a Trading Standards Issue page.