Trading standards February 18

Consumer/ Trader Alerts

Insulation Sellers

Insulation sellers have recently been cold calling
in East Lancashire, claiming they can provide
grants for free cavity wall insulation. We have
received reports that false claims have been
made about signing up neighbours, or traders
working with local authorities. Some houses
pitched to do not even have cavity walls.
Residents should note that while grants are
available for some energy efficiency works, only
those on universal/ tax/ pension credits, and
certain kinds of jobseekers/ employment/
income support or allowance are eligible.

Glazing Warranties

Many Lancashire residents have been sold
warranties on their double glazed windows or
doors. These typically offer annual maintenance
and cleaning, and may cost thousands.
Sometimes they are re-sold or "improved" on
annual sales visits, at extra cost. While selling
such warranties is not illegal, it is advisable to
think twice before signing up to such contracts-
is there anything included that your local window
cleaner or locksmith could not do when required
at a fraction of the price?

Unsolicited Phone Calls

A caller targeting a retired lady in Chorley knew
her address and her two banks, and said that
she urgently needed to pay some bills. He said
that if she did not give him her bank details to
enable him to take the money, he would collect
her to take her to the bank. When she refused,
pushy multiple phone calls on two numbers, now
out of service, were made to the lady. She did
not owe any money and fortunately the caller did
not visit. A second phone scam involves traders
claiming to be from the Telephone Preference
Scheme and demanding payment- when the
TPS is free. Residents are warned never to give
out personal or banking details to cold callers,
even if they seem to have information about your
accounts or your bank- there are many ways to
obtain personal information about you- it does
not mean callers are genuine.

Slimming, Beauty and Health Products

We are continuing to receive complaints about
free or cheap products sold online, using
attention-grabbing headlines about bargains or
miracle cures, where very small print says that
the trial needs to be cancelled within either 7 or
14 days otherwise the purchaser's card will be
charged a rolling monthly amount, usually from
80-100 pm. Slimming products in particular
are being aggressively pushed at the moment. It
is difficult to get money back from your bank
where you have agreed to a transaction, and
these websites are always based abroad. If a
price is too good to be true always look again.

Scam Business Emails

Small shops are warned to watch out for scam
emails from supposed business customers,
often based in Africa, who claim to need
personal information and bank details so that
they can purchase goods from the shops.

Consumer complaints should be referred to the
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454
04 05 06.
Trading Standards advice is to always
say no to cold callers, research traders and
memberships, and obtain prior quotes,
references, and payment receipts. If you agree
to a contract at home you usually have 14 days
to change your mind and cancel. The Safe
Trader scheme can help you find a local trader,
contact 0303 333 1111 or go to

To reduce telesales calls join the Telephone
Preference Service,,
0345 0700707.

category:News for Preesall Town Council

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