A number of areas of Hereford are being targeted by ‘cold callers’ during evenings.

Recent reports from Roman Road, Bobblestock, Three Elms, Credenhill, Kings Acre and Whitecross all share similar stories of people knocking at doors late in the evening, usually between 7pm-10pm.

While this is not illegal, it can be rather concerning, particularly for vulnerable residents who may live alone.

Cold calling is the act of making uninvited visits to your home with the intention of selling goods or services. It is not illegal and does not require a licence.

However, the law states that a trader who ignores a resident’s request to leave and not return commits a criminal offence under the provisions of The Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Any trader that puts you under pressure by falsely implying that 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, is committing a criminal offence.

In addition, if you pay or agree to pay over £42 for any services or goods that are sold to you in your home, then:

You have fourteen days to cancel the agreement. If you cancel, any monies that you have paid should then be returned to you.

The trader must give you a written notice of your cancellation rights when you agree the contract. If the trader doesn’t provide you with this information, they commit a criminal offence and you are not bound by any agreement you enter into.

This protection applies even when you invite a trader to your home.

Traders who sell goods door to door are required to have a Pedlar’s Certificate issued by the Police, except for cold calls offering services like home maintenance work. Please note a Pedlar’s Certificate is not a guarantee of legitimacy.