Two new 'No Cold Calling Zones' set up in Carmarthenshire


Two new No Cold Calling Zones have been set up in Carmarthenshire to offer protection to residents from visits by uninvited traders.
The new zones are at the Sheltered Complex at Bro Ryan, Glanamman, and the Sheltered Complex in Llys Y Dderwen/Thomas Avenue, Ponthenri.
It brings the total number of zones throughout Carmarthenshire to 49. They have been proven to make householders feel safer in their own homes.
Also there has been recent evaluation at Zones in Nantlais, Llandybie, and Tan y Bryn, Burry Port, where 100 per cent of residents rated the zone as being very effective and neither zone has had had any cold callers since implementation.
More than 10,000 complaints are made nationally about cold calling doorstep traders every year, but this is likely to only be the tip of the iceberg –victims are often embarrassed and frightened so many incidents will go unreported.
The No Cold Calling Zones offer protection for residents by making it a criminal offence for uninvited traders to call at the houses within the designated zones.
No Cold Calling Zones started in Carmarthenshire in 2006 and have proved to be a success. They are set up in areas where elderly or vulnerable people live, or where there has been evidence of doorstep crime and problems with cold callers.
The aim of the zones is to protect Carmarthenshire consumers from bogus officials/workers, overbearing sales people and other scams.
The first zone was launched at Maes Elfryn Housing Complex, Llandeilo, in September 2006.
All the No Cold Calling Zones have been set up to meet the Office of Fair Trading's criteria, that is zones are only set up where there is a high proportion of vulnerable residents or evidence of doorstep crime.
Rogue doorstep traders will often offer services at attractive rates and use persuasive sales techniques to encourage people into making hasty decisions. Rogue doorstep trading is an ongoing problem in the UK and work or service carried out can sometimes be unnecessary, of a poor standard, much more expensive than originally quoted or not done at all.
  • To avoid being scammed by rogue doorstep traders:
  • If a trader knocks at your door do not agree to on the spot house repairs, or sign anything on the spot.
  • Be wary of special offers or warnings that your house is unsafe. Do not make snap decisions. Take time to talk to someone you trust before you make a decision.
  • If in doubt, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506 or go to www.adviceguide.org.uk/wales
Executive board member for public protection Cllr Jim Jones said: “Cold calling can be a real nuisance to local residents, in particular to older people, and this method can be used by unscrupulous salespeople and bogus callers as an opportunity to commit offences.
“I am delighted that these two new zones have been established in Glanamman, and the Ponthenri. We now have 49 No Cold Calling Zones in our county and the evidence from residents in those areas is that they are working well.”
Carmarthenshire County Council also has a Registered Traders Scheme for Handypersons and Gardeners, which was set up following a spate of complaints received by the Trading Standards during 2006 concerning shoddy and overpriced gardening work.
The Handyperson & Gardeners scheme involves traders who can undertake tasks such as lawn mowing and basic do-it-yourself work, in particular for elderly and vulnerable residents, and give them the added reassurance that they are dealing with registered tradesmen.
Applicants are asked to sign up to a contract of membership which requires the trader to follow a number of good practices, including not asking for large deposits in advance and to always provide paperwork to their customers.
A list of members can be obtained from Carmarthenshire County Council on 01267 234567 or from the website – www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk

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