PEOPLE are being reminded to keep aware of doorstep sellers offering goods or services out of the back of a van after fresh reports of possible rogue traders in Shetland.
Shetland Islands Council’s trading standards team leader David Marsh said his department had received reports of visiting vans going door to door, or parking up in car parks, selling power tools or offering roof and driveway cleaning services.
He reminded people to think about whether they actually wanted the product or service before it was offered to them, and to consider if it is a good deal or not.
“Every year we hear about rogue traders pretending to have ‘just done a good deal for your neighbours’, claiming links to the council or to reputable local businesses, making exaggerated claims about warranties and guarantees, and selling items or work which are not up to the quality the consumer was led to expect,” Marsh said.
“The best defence is to simply say no, because showing any interest in what’s being offered is only likely to encourage the seller – and if someone at your door refuses to take no for an answer, then phone trading standards or the police right away.
“We also get reports of vulnerable members of our community being pressured into handing over large sums of money for products or work which was neither wanted nor needed, and family, friends and neighbours can often provide very valuable support in such situations.”
Doorstep sellers or other suspicious activity can be reported to trading standards on 01595 744887 or to Police Scotland on 101.
The local trading standards team also have information packs and advice to help people deal with cold callers, whether at the door, on the phone, or by post or email.
They can also help people with supporting family, friends or neighbours who may be more susceptible to the “high pressure tactics” which are often used by doorstep sellers.
The information packs can be picked up from the trading standards office at the old Anderson High School in Lerwick, or posted out on request.