While trying to figure out what on earth I can fill my Etsy shop with I am watching more daytime TV and I am becoming increasingly frustrated with some of the programmes of late. You know the ones "Cowboy Builders", "Rip of Britain" and many others of a similar nature. I think these programmes are of course a "must see" as they do alert the public to the growing number of rogue's that think it's funny to rip off the vulnerable and elderly in the majority of cases.
I have to admit that I am sometimes gob smacked at peoples trust when dealing with total strangers. Many times you have an older person (not in any way helpless or weak) who willingly open their doors and are hoodwinked into having their roofs or driveways done. Or they will answer the telephone to be confronted with a salesperson who they will openly chat to. I'm not saying it's only a certain age group, many younger people have been taken in, but they always seem to come off worse, before they know it they have parted with cash or their bank details or have been taken in by a sob story by a cowboy salesman. I saw a programme only today where a man (of a certain age) lost his house, he actually sold it to pay this conman. I sat there with my jaw on the ground.
I have a few very simple rules :
I never answer the phone unless I recognise the number calling. If I see it's an 0845 or out of area number I just let it ring. If it's really important they can leave a message.
I always look to see who is at the door before I open it, if it's someone I don't know, it remains shut.
I would never invite a tradesman into my house unless I had asked for one, that also goes for sales people.
I would never part with any money up front.
I was caught out once (at the door) with a man asking if he could sell my gold as he was "in the area". I think he assumed I was a nice quite older lady who looked so needy she would be pleased to accommodate
him and his scam. I politely told him to go forth etc etc ~ he looked quite shocked :)
So please Brits wise up and don't be afraid to speak your mind. You don't HAVE to open the door - always make sure you know who's on the other side. As for nuisance callers. who sometimes annoyingly know your name (if your number is in the phone book it's easy), just keep quite, let them do the talking, say nothing, it's drives them loopy.
What do you think? Am I too hard? Are Brits too soft?