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Avoiding the doorstep salesman

Someone knocking

- Where to complain
- How to avoid the hardsell
- Contents cover: best deals

When someone knocks on your door or calls you up and tries to pursuade you that you need to switch power or phone suppliers, or sign up for a year's membership to some organisation or other, it can be difficult to get rid of them and you might even end up with something you didn't need or want.

Here's how to survive the dreaded salesman on your doorstep - learn how to ask for ID cards, what you should do when it comes to signing documents, and how you can firmly say no.

10 tips to surviving the salesman on your doorstep, the High Street or the phone:

  • When dealing with a persistent telephone sales person do NOT put the phone down - take as much detail as possible, the callers name, company, telephone number, and position in the company.
  • On the doorstep or on the high street always ask for and check ID cards. Reputable sales agents will not mind showing you.
  • Never sign, or commit yourself to anything without giving yourself time to think about it and to compare prices from other suppliers in your area.
  • You may be offered a special price or bonus gift if you sign immediately - don't sign anything until you are exactly sure of the commitment you will be making.
  • Be wary of verbal promises - ensure any promises or offers are written into the agreement. If the sales agent refuses, don't sign!
  • If you change your mind after you have signed an agreement, there is a 7-14 day cooling off period (varies from energy supplier) during which time you may cancel the agreement.
  • Do NOT sign anything described as "taking part in a survey", "entry to a free prize draw" or "to let my boss know I've called on you".
  • If you do decide to switch, ensure you have the sales agents ID details which can help you resolve any future problems you may have.
  • If you are not interested in the sales agent's offer, do NOT agree to have your meter read by this person.
  • If you are not interested in the sales agent's offer, do NOT disclose your SI/MPAN number. This is your unique customer number from your energy company of your electricity meter at your property.

One of the commonest hard sell type salesmen doing the rounds are the gas and electricity salesmen trying to persuade you to switch companies and save money. Tiscali allows you to do this by doing the proper research - so that you get the best deal for you, and you can do it in the comfort of you own home without any hassle. Use our online bill checking service to find out how much you can save - without the doorstep hassle.

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