Elderly couple outsmart cold call salesman


Central Beds Council’s Trading Standards officers surprised a cold caller who visited an elderly couple wanting them to sign up to an expensive roof coating treatment.

On Wednesday last week a neighbour of the Meppershall couple called the team to say that they had received a cold call from a trader and were going to get a follow-up visit, where they would try and get them to sign a contract costing £2,500 to £3,000.

After being told that the sales person was due in just half an hour’s time, Trading Standards officers arrived at the couple’s home within 25 minutes and agreed to deal with the trader on their behalf.

Officers found that the sales person was unable to provide any information about the roof coating beyond referring to a small leaflet, and also that their paperwork did not allow for a 14-day cancellation period, as required by law.

The company will now be investigated regarding the claims which have been made about the product, whether it is charging a fair price for the roof coating treatment and the compliance of its paperwork and contracts.

Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Communities, said: “Our Trading Standards officers will always do their very best to safeguard our communities in Central Bedfordshire, particularly the elderly and vulnerable.

“Any traders trying to exploit vulnerable residents should take this into account, as they run the risk of being investigated and appropriate action taken.

“This is also a great example of someone raising concerns on behalf of their elderly neighbours, which is timely following the recent launch of Trading Standards’ Nominated Neighbour scheme.”

Anyone who has concerns about cold callers or suspected rogue traders should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.