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Door-to-Door Salesmen

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to tackle rogue door-to-door salesmen. (99887)

On 7 September 2006 the Department announced the Government’s response to a report on doorstep selling published by the Office of Fair Trading in May 2004, in the light of a public consultation between July and November 2004 and further consultations with interested parties in 2005 and 2006. The response says that the Government will:

(a) extend to solicited visits, the cancellation rights and cooling-off period that consumers currently enjoy for unsolicited visits;

(b) require cancellation notices to be provided within contracts; and

(c) encourage greater transparency on prices and greater willingness to provide written quotes.

The first measure (a) will require primary legislation, which the Government will bring forward at the earliest opportunity. We will then implement both options (a) and (b) by bringing forward revised Regulations in this area.

The response recommended that the third measure (c) be taken forward through industry self-regulation, by encouraging traders to operate under Codes of Practice that have been approved under the Office of Fair Trading’s Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, or for the building and construction trades through participation in TrustMark.