West Sussex Trading Standards are reminding residents to be on their guard against cold callers.
It comes following a recent spate of door-to-door sales people visiting homes in the county and telling the householders they are entitled to government grants for cavity and loft insulation.
But these grants are not available to all households – and not all homes are suitable for these types of insulation.
There are a number of ways to protect yourself should you receive an unsolicited visit (or phone call) by a sales person.
The most successful method is to just say ‘no’ to whatever you are offered and never give out any personal information.
If you are interested in a service, do your research and make contact with a reputable company at your own leisure.
West Sussex Trading Standards’ Approved Business Directory contains a list of hundreds of businesses, thoroughly vetted by Trading Standards officers, who have signed up to the ‘Buy With Confidence’ scheme.
Christine Field, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “We always advise people not to buy from or deal with unsolicited vendors who may appear on your doorstep.
“While some may well be genuine, there are also unscrupulous traders aiming to benefit from misleading residents or pressurising vulnerable people in to buying services they may neither need nor afford.
“The best course of action is to say no – if they are representing an honest company, they would be willing to send you information rather than pressure you into making a purchase.”
Further advice about cold callers can be found on the County Council’s website at www.westsussex.gov.uk, while copies of the West Sussex Trading Standards Approved Business Directory can be picked up from stockists around the county. For more information or to view an online version visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/bwc
For consumer advice or to report any problems with cold calling, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Services helpline on 08454 04 05 06.
To find out more about insulation grants (as well as additional funding information), visit the ‘environment and greener living’ pages at www.direct.gov.uk