Your rights when someone knocks on your door

I knock on a lot of doors. It's an important part of my job, and a good way of finding out the issues that are affecting local people.

I'm not selling a product, but door to door selling is a convenient way of buying goods but it can be a risk: cancellation rights are often not made clear and people often feel pressured into buying when they are unsure.

This is why the new campaign from the Office of Fair Trading aims to inform people, especially the elderly and vulnerable, of their rights when faced with a door to door salesman.

The OFT offers practical tips and informs consumers of their rights including the following:

  • Think twice before you buy and if you are made to feel under pressure to make a purchase, have the confidence to say no.

  • Be wary of time-limited or exclusive offers that need to be signed on the spot – this can be a high pressure sales tactic.

  • Double check the facts. Do you fully understand the costs and know whether it includes extras like installation, on-going serving charges or warranties?

  • Always shop around to compare products and prices.

  • Talk to someone you trust for a second opinion.

  • If you spend more than £35 with a trader on the doorstep, you usually have seven days in which to cancel (subject to certain conditions).

  • If in doubt, call the Citizens Advice consumer line on 0845 404 0506 or visit

For more information and helpful materials, please visit the OFT’s website.

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