What is the law on door step cold calling?

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.

You can express your request not to receive visits from cold calling doorstep traders by taking part in our no cold calling sticker scheme.

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.

Our advice is to always say "No thank you – please leave" and then immediately close the door. If the trader won't go away, tell them that you will call Trading Standards. If you feel under real threat or in danger, you should contact the Police on 101 or if it is an emergency dial 999.

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