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Is there anything I can do to check callers' identities?
Trading standards advice is not to buy goods or services from doorstep callers. However, if you are interested in the goods or services on offer you should check the identity of your caller and obtain a quote which you can then compare against those of other traders. Most reputable companies ensure that their representatives carry photo identification. Check that the person is the same as the one in the photo. ID cards or badges usually carry a phone number you can use to contact the company, but Trading Standards advice is to check the number in the phone book or yellow pages before you ring to confirm that it's genuine. Some useful numbers are:
Accuread (meter reading company) 0800 393 499
British Gas/Scottish Gas - Sales Representatives 0800 300 100
British Gas/Scottish Gas - Meter Readers 0800 393 499
BT 0800 321 999
EDF 0800 085 0000
Meter Plus Reading Services 0800 073 0030
Northumbrian Water 0845 717 1100
npower 0800 073 3000
Powergen 0115 906 6000
Transco 0845 605 6677
Yorkshire Water 0845 124 2424
Yorkshire Water - Meter Readers 0800 073 0030
Scottish & Southern Energy 0800 300000
Siemens Energy Services Ltd 0115 906 6000
Trading Standards 0845 404 0506
Genuine callers will not object to having their identity confirmed.
The law requires that anyone selling door to door carries a pedlar's certificate. If the caller does not have other satisfactory ID you could ask to see his pedlar's certificate. These are issued by the local police.
Remember if you have any doubts at all about the trader who calls on you, do not do business with him. If you receive a visit from someone you are suspicious about please tell us so that we can take appropriate action. You can notify trading standards by using the contact details above.