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Relief as cold calling signs go up

PUBLISHED: 17:38 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:24 03 July 2010

A GROUP of residents in Acle hope to see the back of pushy door-to-door salesmen after their street became a no-go area for cold callers.

Norfolk County Council's Trading Standards team launched a No Cold Calling Zone at Priory Close on Wednesday placing signs on lampposts warning off salesmen.

A GROUP of residents in Acle hope to see the back of pushy door-to-door salesmen after their street became a no-go area for cold callers.

Norfolk County Council's Trading Standards team launched a No Cold Calling Zone at Priory Close on Wednesday placing signs on lampposts warning off salesmen.

It is the 19th area in Norfolk to become a no cold calling zone and the first in the Broadland district.

More than a dozen residents gathered in the street on Wednesday to meet with Teresa Hexall of Trading Standards and district councillor Brian Iles to launch the scheme.

Cllr Iles said: “I'm pleased this scheme has started. It's a good thing for the community and it shows that if you work together you can achieve things.

“When my mother was in her eighties she was frequently visited by cold callers. Every time I visited her she had bought something new after being persuaded into buying. It is frightening for the elderly and I hope this scheme reduces the intimidation they suffer.”

Residents in Priory Close have suffered with nuisance callers for many years. Brian Russell was visited by a representative from an electricity company.

He said: “I told him I didn't do business on the doorstep. A lot of elderly people live on this close and when this scheme was proposed everyone agreed to it. We don't need cold callers.”

Residents have also been given an information pack advising how to deal with a caller who ignores the signs.

Senior Trading Standards officer Teresa Haxell, said: “The idea is to deter cold calls from unscrupulous traders, not the likes of the Avon lady.

“The schemes have been welcomed in several areas and we've had a very good response from residents in those areas. The evidence we have shows it is working. The scheme here has also been supported by local police.”

Ms Haxell added a recent national survey about cold calls showed 96pc of people didn't want them on their door step.

She said typical cold callers offered building work including roof work and resurfacing. “They usually target vulnerable people and when a job should cost a couple of hundred pounds it can sometimes run into thousands. It has been known for unscrupulous traders to drive their clients to the bank to ensure they get paid.”

If you are concerned about cold callers in your area contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.

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