A SERIES of new No Cold Calling Zones have been set up in the Llangunnor area.
Carmarthenshire County Council Trading Standards Service and Dyfed Powys Police have set up No Cold Calling Zones at Awel Tywi, Bryn Tywi, Golwg Tywi, Llys Morfa, Pen y Morfa and Elder Grove at the request of Llangunnor Community Council.
The move brings the number of zones established across Carmarthenshire to 26.
It is a criminal offence for uninvited traders to call at the houses within the designated zones.
No Cold Calling Zones started in Carmarthenshire in 2006 and have proved to be a success. They are set up in areas where elderly or vulnerable people live, or where there has been evidence of doorstep crime and problems with cold callers.
The aim of the zones is to protect Carmarthenshire consumers from bogus officials/workers, overbearing sales people and other scams.
The first zone was launched at Maes Elfryn Housing Complex, Llandeilo, in September 2006. Areas covered by Carmarthenshire’s No Cold Calling Zones include communities in Llandeilo, Pembrey, Llandovery, Llanstephan, Tycroes, Felinfoel, Llangunnor, Llanelli, Llwynhendy, Drefach, and Pendine.
All the No Cold Calling Zones have been set up to meet the Office of Fair Trading's criteria, that is zones are only set up where there is a high proportion of vulnerable residents or evidence of doorstep crime.
An evaluation of the zones showed that 68 per cent stated that they had not received any cold callers since the start of the No Cold Calling Zone, and 90 per cent stated that they had not had a bad experience with a cold caller since the start of the scheme.
With complaints about home maintenance peaking in the summer months from July through to the autumn, the Office of Fair Trading is launching an awareness campaign urging householders to be cautious and take time to think about people who call at the door.
Rogue doorstep traders will often offer services at attractive rates and use persuasive sales techniques to encourage people into making hasty decisions. Rogue doorstep trading is an ongoing problem in the UK and work or service carried out can sometimes be unnecessary, of a poor standard, much more expensive than originally quoted or not done at all.
The OFT offers the following advice on how people can avoid being scammed by rogue doorstep traders:
If a trader knocks at your door do not agree to on the spot house repairs, or sign anything on the spot.
Be wary of special offers or warnings that your house is unsafe. Do not make snap decisions. Take time to talk to someone you trust before you make a decision.
If in doubt, call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or visit www.direct.gov.uk/consumer
Executive board member for public protection Cllr Pam Palmer said: “Cold calling can be a nuisance to elderly residents living in our community and can be used by unscrupulous salespeople and bogus callers as an opportunity to commit offences.
“I am delighted that new zones have been established at Llangunnor. No Cold Calling Zones are working well in Carmarthenshire.”
Caption: Launch of new No Cold Calling Zone at Pen y Morfa, Llangunnor. Pictured from left to right: PC Mike Richardson, Carmarthenshire County Council Trading Standards Officer (Fair Trading) Kayleigh Phillips, council Head of Public Protection Philip Davies, Inspector Steve Lee, Llangunnor Community Council chair Alun West, community council clerk Clive Thomas, county council executive board member for public protection Cllr Pam Palmer, PCSO Tom Milne, Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Arwel Fowler and council Trading Standards Officer (Fair Trading) Quita Davies.
Pic Jeff Connell