Hampshire Trading Standards Service have received several reports of telephone cold callers offering free bird baths.
Often the caller attempts visit and fit the bird bath the same day. After installation, a fee is requested.
As well as being a scam, it is possible that it is also a distraction burglary tactic, the intention being to gain access to property.
Trading Standards would advise consumers not to agree to work that is instigated as a result of a cold call.
Consumers should obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme or a recognised trade association.
Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair. All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws.
Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives consumers a 14 day cooling off period from the date the work starts.
So, legally, you may have the right to cancel even though work has commenced.
If anyone has any information about traders who are cold calling or requires any advice on doorstep crime they can contact Hampshire County Council’s Quick Response Team on 01962 833666 (Monday – Friday 0900hrs to 1700hrs) where specially trained officers are on hand to provide advice.
If assistance is required outside of these hours please contact Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.