Aggressive doorstep caller among recent unwanted visitors to Suffolk homes

Trading Standards watchdogs have warned people to watch out for a cold caller. Picture posed by mode

Suffolk Trading Standards has reported a recent rise in visits to local residents by doorstep callers - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2008

Officials have seen a recent rise in reports of unwanted doorstep callers touting for trade across Suffolk.

A number of Stowmarket residents reported unwelcome visits from 'Nottingham Knockers' attempting to sell household products.

One individual became aggressive and hit the doorframe of a property in Temple Road – a 'No Cold Calling Zone' – when turned away by a resident .

There have also been reports of rogue traders going door-to-door elsewhere in Stowmarket and in Newmarket, offering to carry out 'free' loft insulation checks on the property.

Unsolicited callers were then reported travelling in a white Transit-style van around Tattingstone, near Ipswich, offering to clean driveways.

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Meanwhile, two men in a white van were seen going door-to-door in Woolpit, near Bury St Edmunds, offering plants, trees and garden furniture for sale.

A spokesman for Suffolk Trading Standards said: "As predicted, with the easing of restrictions and the nicer weather, we are seeing a rise in the reports of doorstep callers. 

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"These individuals often visit Suffolk and use the same sales patter – 'last one', 'great price', 'ex-exhibition stock', et cetera.

"They currently state they have stock because they have not been able to sell them at the usual garden shows.

"Any trader that puts you under pressure by suggesting you have to make a decision there and then, or that the 'special price' is only available for a limited period, in order to make you sign up, may be committing a criminal offence.

"Doorstep traders are trained in sales techniques and can be very persuasive.

"Be very wary of signing anything as you may give up your rights to cancel.

"Our advice is to always say 'no thank you – please leave' and then immediately close the door. 

"If the trader won't go away, tell them that you will call Suffolk Trading Standards.

"When reporting doorstep incidents, please try to supply key information, such as the description of the individual and their vehicle, including the make, model and vehicle registration, if seen. 

"If you feel under real threat or in danger, you should contact Suffolk police."

Reports can be made to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

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