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New doorstep selling rules approved in Parliament

New doorstep selling rules approved in Parliament

DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM News Release (2008/135) issued by The Government News Network on 2 July 2008

New "doorstep selling" regulations to protect people when they buy products and services from traders at home have been approved by Parliament.

The new rules, which come into force on 1 October, give people a legal right of seven days in which they can change their mind. Previously, people only had these cancellation rights if a trader's visit was not pre-arranged.

Consumer Affairs Minister Gareth Thomas said:

"The winners here are honest businesses as well as customers. The regulations will put an end to underhand tactics used by rogues who take advantage of current loopholes in the law to beat their rivals."

The new regulations will make things simpler for businesses who sell at the doorstep. They now need just one contract when they visit a customer, rather than separate ones for solicited and unsolicited sales - reducing staff training costs.

The Government will be writing to companies soon to raise awareness of the new rules. Businesses will need to make changes to their sales contracts to comply with the law. Companies that fail to comply with the regulations would not be able to enforce their contracts and may well be investigated by Trading Standards, which could end in prosecution and fines.

For more information about the regulations businesses should visit http://www.berr.gov.uk/consumers/buying-selling/Doorstep-selling/index.html

Notes to editors:

1. Every year millions of sales take place in homes across the UK. Some unscrupulous traders have taken advantage of the distinction between solicited and unsolicited calls: duping or pressuring customers into buying products, without the chance to change their minds

2. The "doorstep selling" regulations are part of a package of measures from the Government to crack down on rogue traders. The Government wants to ensure that consumers have a fair deal and that honest, well-run businesses are not be beaten by competitors who flout the law

3. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform helps UK business succeed in an increasingly competitive world. It promotes business growth and a strong enterprise economy, leads the better regulation agenda and champions free and fair markets. It is the shareholder in a number of Government-owned assets and it works to secure, clean and competitively priced energy supplies

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