Be warned, cold calls flogging new boilers are on the rise. But as John suspected these are likely to be a scam.
John told us: ‘I’ve received cold calls from a range of numbers. The calls consist only of a recorded male voice telling me about new boiler regulations in Europe. It says that every household in my local area must install a new A-rated boiler by the end of 2016.
‘I am confident that existing non-A-rated domestic boilers will continue to be legitimate until they reach the end of their economically serviceable lives – and that these calls are a potential scam. I shudder to think what sales pitch some naive consumer might receive if they were to press the relevant button to follow up the call.’
Our advice on suspicious calls
Unfortunately, it appears there’s been an increase in cold callers trying to convince people they need a new boiler since the introduction of the Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive in September 2015.
As part of this directive, boilers and other electrical products must meet new minimum energy efficiency requirements in order to be sold in Europe.
However, existing products aren’t affected by these regulations, so we’d imagine you’re correct to assume this is a ploy to trick you out of money. You should report these calls to the police, trading standards and Action Fraud. Don’t forget that you can also report the call to us too.
Never buy anything as a result of unsolicited contact. However, if a sale is agreed over the phone, then the Consumer Contracts Regulations apply and you have 14 days to cancel penalty-free.
[UPDATE 17 MARCH 2016] – A Scottish boiler replacement company has been fined £180,000 for making millions of automated nuisance calls. Glasgow-based FEP Heatcare Ltd made 2,692,217 unwanted automated calls between April and July 2015.
And despite being warned to stop making illegal calls by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), FEP started to do so again by bombarding people with recorded messages. The ICO traced these calls to FEP Heatcare even though the calls didn’t identify a caller.
Our executive director Richard Lloyd said:
‘The ICO is right to hit companies with hefty fines for bombarding people with nuisance calls, especially when they fail to listen to previous warnings.’