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We recently had a leaflet put through our door from Oxfordshire County Council telling us about its local services.  Included in this exciting missive was the news that Chipping Norton was a ‘No cold calling’ zone!   Clearly this is a well-guarded secret as we’ve had 2 cold calls in the past 2 days! 

We decided to investigate this one, particularly as anything to do with marketing is very relevant to our clients.   If no cold calling zones are going to be popping up around the country, businesses working in the B2C market need to be aware of it.  We all know (or should know if we’ve done our homework) calling phone numbers listed on the TPS can result in a substantial fine, as can mailing householders registered with the MPS.  But what about this new embargo?

Well there are a lot of sound reasons for establishing these no cold calling zones and doorstep crime has to be top of the list.  There are a lot of unscrupulous and dishonest people about who use cold calling as a way of preying on the elderly and vulnerable in the community.  A recent survey by the Trading Standards Institute showed 96% of householders didn’t want sales people knocking on their door. 

It would seem this initiative is in its infancy.  There is a Trading Standards Fact Sheet on the subject which tells you how to set up your own ‘no cold calling zone’.  The way forward at the moment seems to involve community groups, lamp post signs, and door stickers.  

If the local authorities are going to champion these schemes, they need to put their money where their mouth is and bring in some proper legislation!  All they need to do is set up a register of opt-out areas.  If this works for the MPS and TPS, it shouldn’t be that hard to do for streets, villages or even towns!  At least that way, the ethical companies who still use cold calling as a marketing tool will know where they stand.  Of course, this will only work if the householders know what they can do to report people who flout the law and the offenders are taken to task. 

As for us … well it would stop us having to answer to door and deal with ardent sales people when we’re busy, but in a way I’d be sorry to lose a golden opportunity.  No casual cold caller gets away from our front door without a handful of our company literature and we make sure they know all about our services!

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