Hampshire Says 'No!' to Cold Calling - North Hampshire
Monday, 18 June 2012
"We used to get pesky callers who refused to take 'no' for an answer, being part of a zone has reduced the number of cold callers significantly. I feel more confident dealing with the few callers we do get and I think it's been a great step forward for the area. It especially provides elderly people with a lot of comfort and piece of mind."
Those are the words of one Farnborough resident among the many across Hampshire who have taken a stand against cold callers by setting up a No Cold Calling Zone (NCCZ) with the help of Hampshire County Council and its partners.
The zones are set up through the County Council's Trading Standards Service in partnership with the police and are proving a huge success countywide. Almost three quarters of people now feel safer in their homes since their zone was set up and residents say they also feel more confident when dealing with unwanted cold callers.
The No Cold Calling Zone scheme, launched in 2005 now covers over 32,000 households in Hampshire - the 500th zone has recently been established in Cedar Drive in Fleet.
Each zone aims to discourage rogue traders from approaching homes in search of business, as well as giving residents the confidence to turn away unwanted callers.
It is often hard to tell if a caller is genuine or a rogue trader offering unnecessary or overpriced deals. The zones are not set up to prevent people leaving leaflets or brochures, or to stop genuine meter readers from doing their work, but they give residents greater power to turn away callers they do not wish to deal with. Whilst it is not illegal to call in a No Cold Calling Zone, it does mean that local residents have the option to call for support if their wishes are ignored.
Residents living in the area are provided with 'No Cold Calling Zone' leaflets containing information about the zone. Special door and window stickers are then provided to advise visitors that cold callers are not welcome; as well as a copy of the new and improved 'Buy With Confidence' directory of traders approved by Trading Standards.
For more information on setting up a No Cold Calling Zone in your area, visit www.hants.gov.uk/nccz or contact Hampshire County Council Trading Standards on 01962 833620.
Questionnaires were completed by 700 respondents from across 50 zones in Hampshire.
-79% of zone members feel more confident when dealing with unwanted cold callers, since their zones were established.
Trading Standards offer a Buy With Confidence directory which details hundreds businesses from every trade which have been vetted by officers to ensure that they are not only trustworthy but also offer good customer service.
Trading Standards also operate a Quick Response Team (QRT) in Hampshire. When alerted, the QRT aim to set out straight away in order to arrive whilst the trader is still in the area or when scheduled to return. The objective is to catch the culprits red-handed and by intervening, Trading Standards are able to protect residents from potentially handing over thousands of pounds.