Latest Consumer Direct figures reveal there were over 1766 doorstep selling complaints in the North West in 2011. In a push to protect the vulnerable, UAP Limited is joining forces with the OFT’s Summer Doorstep Selling campaign, empowering local residents to deal with untoward doorstep sellers.
Research conducted on behalf of the Office of Fair Trading highlights the elderly as being particularly at risk of doorstep selling scams. The OFT have published a list of tips on how to deal with doorstep sellers, these include not signing on the spot, being wary of special offers or warnings about the home, always shop around for the best price and checking the traders identity.
In response to bogus callers, UAP launched their Identity Card Entry Slot. This enables the home owner to check the identity of the caller without opening the door; they simply lift up the sliding latch on the inside to allow the caller to slip their card through. This means that they remain safe in their home and are given time to check the identity without the pressure of a stranger standing in the door way.
UAP Sales Manager, Ian Watts says: “Not all doorstep sellers are bogus, however those who are will try any unscrupulous tactic to take advantage of vulnerable residents. I urge people not to open their door to these callers before they have verified who they are by checking the callers’ identity card. This is a useful way to wean out any tradesman who may not be legitimate.”
When we talk about our Identity Card Slot we are sometimes met by skepticism and questions such as:
“Why can’t they just put the card through the letterbox?”
Letterboxes can be quite fiddly for small objects as they have to contend with the bristles and getting stuck in the middle. Vulnerable and elderly people may get flustered or embarrassed trying to receive the ID card through the letterbox. The ID Card Slot is designed for specifically for ID cards; therefore slotting a card through it is simple and avoids any fumbling around.
“Don’t bogus callers just make their own ID cards?”
Yes they do, this is why we are joining OFT in their campaign to raise awareness of bogus callers and advise vulnerable and elderly people on ways to combat them. Age UK and the police recommend checking the ID card is genuine by calling the number from the phonebook, a bill or directory for the company to verify the visitor.
Most importantly, the Identity Card Slot shows the caller that the occupier is aware and prepared for bogus callers. This is the aim of the campaign, to make home owners aware of bogus callers and to make sure they are prepared for them and their tactics.
Judith Frame, Head of Campaigns at OFT says: “Complaints about home maintenance and illegitimate doorstep sellers traditionally peak in the summer months. While it is not illegal to canvas for work door to door, rogue doorstep trading remains a serious issue for vulnerable groups, particularly the elderly who live alone.”
The Identity Card Slot is available in mirror polished stainless steel and polished PVD Gold, as well as 20-40mm for UPVC doors and 40-80mm for wooden and composite doors.
To find out more about the OFT Summer Doorstep Selling Campaign visit http://www.oft.gov.uk/OFTwork/consumer-protection/campaign11-12/doorstep/.
For more information on our Identity Card Slots or other items in our security range contact the UAP Sales Dept. on 0161 796 1268 or email Sales@uapcorporate.com.
 Consumer Direct data Jan – Dec 2011