Join the door-step selling challenge!

Thanks for your comments and suggestions on my previous blog entry, complaining about doorstep sellers. As ever, you raise some excellent points. Personally I think door-step selling should be banned but, as Christine, points out, any law would have to be enforced and it will never really stop until it becomes completely socially unacceptable. I’d add to that that energy and telecoms companies will only stop door-stepping customers if it no longer generates revenue for them. If door-stepping stops bringing in the cash, then that’s when it will cease. So, in order for it to end, we all have to say a big NO to door-step sellers. We don’t have to be rude, but we do have to be firm.

I am going to investigate further the Trading Standards no cold calling zone scheme and see if we can get one started in our neighbourhood. Apparently there is one in a neighbouring town, so it would be interesting to find out how they are getting on with it and if it’s working for them. I’ve also decided to write complaint letters to the Scottish & Southern’s chief executive Ian Marchant and Charles Dunstone, CEO of Carphone Warehouse, which owns TalkTalk, about their use of aggressive door-step sellers in our neighbourhood and our local Trading Standards.

If you’ve been bothered by door-step sellers, please do the same. Find the company you’ve been pestered by in Bing or another search engine and look at their corporate website to find out who the chief executive/managing director is. Write to them directly. If you can’t find out who to write to, then email me through the blog and I’ll try to find out for you. It’s worth a try and it’s more effective to go to the top instead of complaining to customer services. Write to your local Trading Standards office too and complain.

Christine reckons the notice on my front door saying ‘No doorstep sellers’ won’t do any good. I can say that so far this week I haven’t been disturbed by any sellers (shouldn’t speak too soon…) but that’s probably got more to do with the weather than anything else…

Are you willing to take up the door-step challenge with me – saying no to aggressive door-step sellers and complaining to the companies that use them/Trading Standards? Leave a message and let me know.

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10 Responses to Join the door-step selling challenge!

  1. Bill says:

    I believe that any form of cold calling/doorstepping is already, long since illegal, therefore we should prosecute in every instance. Unfortunately they know that we do not have the necessary education or other means, therefore they continue to break the law however they wish.It is not always easy to gain the ID of the individual, which could bug any prosecution, but these days we all have \’phone cams. It would only take one clear photo, with the name of the company, to launch a class act against both individual, as also company.The individual could possibly turn violent if we attempt to take a pic, I have already had experience of this when attempting to catch a hit & run driver, also when raising me cam to an insurance scam driver. Apparently I wrote off his power steering when he reversed into me at the traffic lights. He refused to open his car boot to show me the power steering. Some of the Morris Minor/Traveller had an electric fuel pump in the boot, Most modern busses, & some construction plant, have rear end engines, which leave the the steering power unit mounted above the "starboard" rear wheel, but I have never yet met a mediocre, working class "Mobility" car with power steering in the boot, unless perchance, it is possibly an electric pump. His own wife screamed at him to get in the car, & drive on, which he only did as I called the home office. Too late fers him, I already had a photo of his vehicle complete with reg. plate, himself, & his wife. I also photo the reg plates of other passing vehicles, as potential witnesses, as a simple matter of routine.

  2. Flo says:

    Now you have decided on all the right steps Piper. Keep us posted – it may help many of us to fight the salesmen on our doorsteps. I hear that TalkTalk has all sorts of sales issues at the moment so you have possibly kicked into the middle of a ruckus anyway. But there\’s nothing like publicity on tinternet – word gets around and a bad reputation if you are a big business wanting to take money is not something to shrug off easily. I\’ve never accepted doorstep salesmen in any shape or form – it\’s not the way I choose products and services. The ones who would really worry me are the people offering loans. I think that far more needs to be done to promote credit unions for those who need to save but find it hard or don\’t have a bank account. After things like the Farepak failure I\’d rather see people using a credit union where their money is protected than any other form of borrowing.

  3. Bill says:

    Flo, . . . we had a credit union in our high rise block, I was never involved, there is much better interest elsewhere, but it is possibly a good thing for some housebound. They also visited the local charity, on rare occassions, but the Lady who runs the local area only visits once every two weeks, & appears to be a charity volunteer. I would not be so happy, handing my money to a perfect, possibly "fly-by-night" stranger. I would at least be nervous, & therefore understand why the elderly & infirm prefer to keep their\’s under the matress. I did not know until this week that Age concern shop girls, as also street collectors are on at least £7.10p/hr. I tawt they were all volunteers, so I did. My, so easy, mistake!The Lady in our area also appears slightly less reliable, she oft leaves notes pinned on doors, & even a convenient lamp-post, to say she is off sick, & is therefore skipping a week. This appears to be far more prevalent in the Xmas shopping period. It is also extremely dangerous, inadvertently inviting any local thug to ambush herself, or any of her elderly or infirm clientel, who are guaranteed to be carrying a small measure of completely untraceable hard cash.I would much prefer to see the elderly & infirm handed a free lap-top, with free landline connection, & adequate, relevant education, obviously much easier for those who are already literate. "www.myguide.gov" is a free education system, that can be studied alone at home, or in small groups at coffee mornings in the local library, where most home help, & other social service personnel can assist with the education. Our local charity was heavily involved, even making money on a peacework basis by pushing as many candidates as possible through the education, in their computer suite. I did part time voluntary tuition in the system. The small number of elderly Deaf on the course found my Sign Language & Lip Reading ability extremely useful. "myguide" is specificaly designed to be delivered in an extremely informal atmosphere, where a tutor can appear 10 minutes late with no problem. We can take a break as a small group at random, & even as individuals we pop out for 5 anytime we need, this includes the tutor. They still gain the education, at a speed that they can cope with, & as a tutor I also attend other urgent business by \’phone, as necessary. Obviously a well paid college tutor would need to operate very differently, & such a disciplinare system would not be correct for such "students".Even our British Sign Language Social Group was never an official course, some of the "students" could only appear alternate weeks, due to other commitments. I even use Sign Language in one local supermarket with a checkout girl who is also a member of the Group, as also in another supermarket with a shelf-filler. Their colleagues in the supermarkets find it amusing, but we all need the practice, where-ever we find it. None of us are in the least deaf, we only study the language as a hobby.Possibly the oldest British doorstepper would be the Betterwear, but the most abnoxious, & persistent is the American Readers Digest, who flatly refuse to take no as an answer. I have found the Betterwear, as also Kleeneze, both to be far more responsible in their attitude.The utilities, including all form of electronic-/tele-communications, are by far the worst, as they are all top Public Corporations, & therfore find it impossible to sell their services on the basis of value fers money. Their shareholders, worst of all, the large Corporate shareholders, demand the heaviest possible rip-off. They have no interest whatever in value fers money, or the Social Economy, but much prefer the Market Economy, which in simplest form is a lottery, selling to the highest bidder. The British justice system & legal industry use the identical approach, whereby justice is strictly reserved for those idle few who can afford it.If the utilities, including justice, were all governed by the Social Economy, we would all be paying slightly above cost, with a minimum "overround", therefore we would all be able to afford whatever we may need, including clean healthy justice, without any form of, or need for, charity.In the Market Economy, most of us have no hope, chance, or future.

  4. D says:

    Hi, might be worth looking into a no cold calling scheme in bedford, I believe it resulted in a review after the local travelling community claimed it infriged their human rights by blocking their established way of life and deprived them of their livelihood. Not sure what the outcome was as there are certainly schemes operating there. If it was outright illegal I am not sure why a review was undertaken. Sounds like a very good idea indeed and I would like to see it extended to religious callers, is there not a right to undisturbed enjoyment of your home or some such right?

  5. Bill says:

    Dan, . . . there is some obscure, yet simple Right over undisturbed enjoyment, yer can find it in the small print of a legal tenancy agreement, I used something similar in \’96 to get an elderly pair evicted because they would not allow me to sleep in me pad overnight. The county court, Dudley bound \’em over fers 3 months, but Sandwell MBC had already slung \’em, earlier that morning.Unfortunately the home office refuse to get involved, & take no action whatever, as it is a civil, not "Criminal" offense. I only ask, why does any poor sucker pay poll-tax???The MBC landlord is just as bad, they will take no legal action against such "none criminal offenders", until we take private (civil) action, possibly as it is not their problem, & they as landlord are not responsible fers our welfare, in that which is not only advertised, but also sold, as a Welfare State.With boot on t\’other foot, the council oft slap an ASBO on me, totally devoid of "due legal process", I got a 6mth ASBO, without any form of warning, when a neighbour complained that I had one wheel parked on the kerbstone. I was only informed as a result of other business with the same council "officer", better known as a desk-jockey. The "informant" always parks with two wheels half across the pavement. But that is obviously different!The home office will certainly not engage in such trivia as doorstepping, they are far too busy, extremely underpaid, & far too lazy for any such stuff. It simply gets swept under the carpet, at least until it escalates to a nice juicy murder, extremely good fers overtime.

  6. Clay says:

    At the very least, report to your local council the scamster doorstep sellers (the ones whose opening lines are intended to lead you to infer they are from the council or a utility- "we have been asked to contact every homeowner in the street"). Ask for a leaflet if they have one. Report the day and time to the council – it can be done by e-mail – so trading standards officers can build a picture.

  7. Clay says:

    As for unsolicited Betterware/Kleeneze catalogues, if I\’m home when one pops through the letterbox, I chase the deliverer down the street to give it back – and to say politely that any future ones will go straight into recycling. I know the agent has to pay for them, but one warning should be sufficient.

  8. Flo says:

    As from today you can ask the energy sales people for a written quote according to the BBC – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8462471.stm – won\’t mean it\’s the cheapest quote but it gives you something to compare with your present tariff.

  9. piper says:

    Sympathise with the Betterware/Kleeneze catalogues. I\’ve left notes on ones left on my doorstep asking them not to bother to leave them again but they don\’t take any notice.

  10. piper says:

    Thanks for the link, Flo. It\’s a step in the right direction I guess.

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