Doorstep Crime & No Cold Calling Zones

The Isle of Wight Trading Standards Service, in partnership with other agencies, is supporting Parish and Town Councils to create No Cold Calling Zones on the Island.  This involves visits to all residents providing information on personal and home safety and stickers to indicate that they do not buy goods and services at the door.  The Zone is also signposted to indicate to everyone that they are entering a No Cold Calling Zone.  The objective is to enable residents to look after themselves on their own doorsteps and to identify vulnerable residents who need support.

Doorstep Selling Campaign by the OFT aims to help consumers buy safely and wisely on their doorstep or in their home. To warn people, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, to be wary of rogue doorstep traders.

Watch the advert..


What is the purpose of a no cold calling zone?

The purpose of No Cold Calling zones (NCCZ’s) is to discourage cold callers from specific residential areas. The introduction of the scheme provides householders with the opportunity to collectively discourage the often-unwelcome practice of cold calling.

The zones are visibly identified by signs on lamp posts and each participant displaying a sticker on their door. The No Cold Calling zones are designed to discourage rogue traders who, for example, tell householders work needs doing to their property and then charge exorbitant prices or perhaps the work does not need to be done at all.

Is it illegal to cold call?

No it’s not. It is a voluntary scheme which relies on residents of the area to say no to Cold Callers and to report them to Trading Standards or the Police. The zone is there to give a message to callers that they are not wanted in that area and that people in the area will not do business with them so there is no point in them calling!

Will this affect the Avon lady or Betterware etc

No. These types of callers usually have a long term relationship with residents of the area and they leave a catalogue so that the customer can contact them if they require anything.

So who does the No Cold Calling Zone affect?

Anybody selling anything, including duster sellers, home improvement companies, utility companies offering new services to you etc.

Does the Trading Standards Service set up the area for us?

No. The NCCZ is ‘owned’ by the residents not by Trading Standards or Police. It usually requires a ‘champion’ to begin the process, this might be a neighbourhood watch co-ordinator or parish/town council. This is not a job for a lone individual to take on and they will need a team of helpers. The Trading Standards Service will support them in the creation of the zone.

How much will it cost?

There is a small cost to setting up a zone and it will depend on how big the zone is ie the amount of signs, packs and letters needed. The Trading Standards Service are happy to advise on costing and what is necessary.

How do we fund this cost?

On the Island some Parish/Town Councils have funded the creation of zones. However it is possible for a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator to arrange for self costing. In other words the residents pay for their own sticker etc.

How do we begin?

You will need to get the support of the local Police and the Trading Standards Service and show that your area fits the criteria to become a zone. NCCZs are most suitable for areas where a large proportion of the residents are vulnerable for example the elderly or residents who have experienced doorstep crimes and /or burglaries or are subject to regular calls from doorstep callers attempting to sell goods and services which the residents find hard to cope with. You will need to show that the residents want the scheme. NCCZs should not be imposed on residents so you will need to consult with them to make sure they want their areas to become a zone. There is no point in making an area a NCCZ if the residents do not support it as it will not work.

How do we consult?

You could hold a public meeting but not everyone can attend these. We recommend that you write to each resident in the zone and give them the opportunity to object to the zone going ahead. Template letter is available (click here).

Everyone is happy for the zone to go ahead, what do we do next?

Contact the Isle of Wight Trading Standards Service. They will be able to provide you with packs and signs providing you have the funds and can show you meet the criteria.

How do we give out the packs?

In our experience it is better if the packs are delivered in person. If you do this you should not cold call on the residents as you will be defeating the object of the zone! We recommend that you write to residents explaining that they will be visited and when, by letter. Remember that you should carry ID. The Trading Standards Service and Police will be happy to assist if they can.

What information should we give with the packs?

The packs all have a No Cold Calling sticker for householders to display at the door or in a front window, leaflets, and explanatory letter. (Please click here to download a No Cold Calling sticker). The Trading Standards Service will, as long as stocks enable, provide a booklet entitled Be Wise Be Safe. You may wish to tailor the type of leaflets in the pack to meet the needs of the residents. The Trading Standards Service can assist you with this.

What happens if the zone still gets unwanted callers?

Most residents of zones report that they see a marked decrease in the number of unwanted callers. However, if someone still calls refuse to do business with them. Point out that the area is a NCCZ. Make a note of who they are and any vehicle they are travelling in, including the registration of the vehicle. Report the information to the Isle of Wight Trading Standards Service on Tel: 823371 and/or the Police on 0845 045 45 45. However if you feel threatened ring 999.

What will Trading Standards do if I report it?

Isle of Wight Trading Standards will investigate who the trader is, inform them that they are calling in a NCCZ and take further action if necessary.

What if I find that someone has entered into a contract with a doorstep seller?

The Trading Standards Service enforces a piece of legislation known as the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008. If you buy goods or services costing more than £35 as a result of a trader’s visit to your home or place of work, the trader is required by law to provide you with a written copy of your cancellation rights explaining your rights to cancel the contract. This should be given at the time the contract is made. This will then give you 7 days to cancel the contract starting the day the cancellation notice is received. Failure to do this may be a criminal offence and may make the agreement unenforceable. It does not matter whether the visit is one that you have requested yourself or whether it is unsolicited. Please report any instances where residents have entered into contracts so that we can ensure that they have the relevant paperwork and that no other criminal offences have taken place.

REMEMBER IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO COLD CALL. The zone is a message to callers that they are not wanted and that you will not do business with them. However, if residents in the zone then encourage callers by doing business with them this will send out the wrong message and the zone will not work.

If you need a gardener, roofer, plumber, builder, electrician, double glazing etc use the Isle of Wight Trading Standards Service Approved Trader Scheme list, Buy with Confidence. Click here and you will be directed to the Buy with Confidence website.

Current List of No Cold Calling Zones (as of May 2011 in date order)

  • Brighstone: (80 Homes) – 2005
Wilberforce Road
Ashley Way
Pippins Close
Shippards Road
Sirenia Close
Meadows Close

  • Bembridge: (108 Homes) – October 2006
Meadow Drive
Meadow End
Tyne Walk
Frampton Way
Meadow Close
  • Newport: (1330 Homes) – October 2006
Wallace Court, Pan Estate (30 Homes)
Pan Estate (April 2009) (1300 Homes)
  • Northwood: (925 Homes) – February 2007
  • Lake: (2500 Homes) – April 2007
  • Gurnard: (820 Homes) – June 2007

  • Brading: (970 Homes) – October 2007
  • Shanklin: (4200 Homes) – December 2007
  • Sandown: (3500 Homes) – June 2008
  • East Cowes: (80 Homes) – June 2008
Hendy Road
Birch Close
  • Nettlestone & Seaview: (1700 Homes) – August 2008
  • Wroxall: (100 Homes) – August 2008
Various properties
  • Brook, Hulverstone and Mottistone: (140 Homes) – September 2008
  • St. Helens: (650 Homes) – February 2009
  • Freshwater: (16 Homes) – February 2009
Jameson Gardens
  • Cowes: (5500 Homes) – April/May 2009
  • St. Lawrence: (1200 Homes) – November 2009
  • Ventnor: (500 Homes) – March 2010
Upper Ventnor only
  • Chale (300 Homes) – July 2010
  • Ryde (1500 Homes) - Nov 2010
South West Ward
  • Whippingham (530 Homes) – May 2011
  • Wootton (Various Homes) - 2011
  • Downside Residents Association (9) – May 2012

Page last updated on: 17/09/2012