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Improving Trading Standards in Wales

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Cold Calling Control Zones

No Cold Calling Zones or Cold Calling Control Zones aim to decrease doorstep crime incidents by specifying a Zone in which doorstep callers selling goods or services are not welcome. Zones are usually defined by lamp post signs and stickers placed in the doors or windows of homes within the Zone area.  Zones range in size from a few houses to several hundered in a whole village or town. They are set up either in response to incidents, local intelligence, or on request - but all will follow a consultation process.

Zones should meet three criteria before they can be set up:

  • a history of doorstep crime or distraction burglary 
  • a vulnerable population
  • a defined geographical area

Trading Standards Services have undertaken work in Wales to set up such zones where the criteria are met, or in areas of need. Often Services work with Neighbourhood Policing Teams and other community groups such as Neighbourhood Watch Groups and Residents Associations to examine whether a Zone can be set up in an area.

Cold Calling Control Zones have now been set up in the majority of Welsh Local Authorities to set up or reduce the number of cold callers within these areas.  For further information on the establishment of Zones in your area speak to your local Trading Standards Service.

Zones do not automatically make it a criminal offence for unwanted doorstep sellers to call at your door but they are an important deterrent that also gives local householders the confidence to say "No" when approached on their doorstep.

However, since 2008 there is legislation that makes it an offence for any trader calling at your door to sell you goods or services, to refuse a request to leave and/or return later.  Window or Door stickers displaying such a request to cold callers are classed as the request to leave and not to call at the property.

The main energy supply companies have undertaken not to cold call on households within Zone areas that display a window sticker. The energy supply companies have undertaken to abide by this agreement as part of the Energysure Code of Practice (PDF 778KB) for The Face to Face Marketing of Energy Supply. The energy companies who have voluntarily agreed to the restriction are British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, Scottish and Southern Energy, and Scottish Power. Additionally the companies have agreed not to call on households where 'a message is prominently displayed in the form of a visible, clearly worded and unambiguous notice indicating that a consumer does not wish to receive uninvited doorstep sales callers'.

Details of Cold Calling Control Zones that are operating within Wales can be found here (Excel 155KB).  If you have any queries regarding the Zones and how they operate, contact your local Trading Standards Service

If you are a Business or Trader and have a query regarding a Zone that is Operating within an area in Wales, please contact the Trading Standards Service where the Zone is based.