It’s time to slam the door on unwanted doorstep sellers, the letterbox on junk mailers, the handset down on unsolicited sales callers and more.

We’ve now more rights than ever to be left alone.

Britain’s ‘big six’ energy companies finally waved the white flag after a brilliant campaign by Trading Standards and Consumer Focus.

They’ve promised that their doorstep selling teams will no longer cold call at any property showing a ‘No Cold Callers’ sign in the window or door.

However, while the worst doorstep sellers will sadly pile on the pressure to take advantage of the vulnerable and elderly, it can also be a great way for local start-up businesses to introduce themselves to customers.

So think carefully before stopping ‘em knocking.

If you do decide enough is enough, here are my top ten tips ...

• Put up a FREE ‘No Cold Callers’ sign.    

If you pin up a clear sign asking cold callers to leave you alone, no one from any of the big six energy companies, British Gas, E.On, EDF, SSE, Scottish Power or NPower, should bother you.

Either make a sign yourself and paste it on your letterbox or window next to the door or print off my free version approved by Trading Standards at If, despite your sign, they still knock on your door, point out the sign. If they don’t instantly walk away, take down their name and staff number to report them to their employer.

The new energy provider rule will be added to the EnergySure Code in October this year, but the practice has already been ruled out. If that doesn’t work, take it to the Energy Ombudsman.

• Be confident to turn away other cold callers too

It doesn’t matter what they’re selling – dusters, duvets, DVDs or doilies – you’ve absolutely no obligation to let them in to your home.

While the ‘No Cold Callers’ sign can’t legally stop non-energy sales folks, it, very usefully, allows you to open the door, politely point at your sign without engaging in a conversation and quietly close it again. 

• Never sign anything.

If you don’t mind a natter with salesmen, just be sure you always check their ID. If you’re not sure, see if there’s a telephone number you can call to verify they’re who they say they are.

And NEVER sign any form proffered “just for a quote”; some nasty doorstep sellers use your signature there as a green light to switch your service provider or charge you for future goods.

• Don’t believe any “Martin Lewis” door-knockers

Growing number of cold-callers and phone sellers have the front to claim that they’ve either been recommended or supported by me, or are actually working for me or my website.  Let me take a quick opportunity to confirm they’re lying – I never give my permission.

• Stop all unwanted marketing phone calls

Register with the Telephone Preference Service (or call 0800398893) and then it’s against the law for any UK companies that you haven’t asked, to call you.  However, it usually takes around a month after you’ve igned up to have an impact.

  Sadly this won’t put the kibosh on random number diallers. When these automatically-generated numbers get through, simply note them down and log onto premium number regulator to try and stop them.

• Prevent junk mail from flopping through your letterbox.

Flyers, offers, deals, store openings, catalogues – the list is sadly endless. Junk mail can be a major irritant, yet, unlike phone calls, you don’t actually have a legal right to stem the stream.   However sign up to the Mail Preference Service at or call 08457034599 and every member of the trade body Direct Marketing Association will then agree to stop their letters going to that address.

It will take up to four months to staunch the flow, but should eventually reduce the sheer volume by up to 95%.

And, if you’ve a fax at home, you can stop unwanted faxes being sent through by going to and registering your machine number.

• Stop unwanted flyers from the royal mail

You can opt out of receiving unaddressed leaflets and flyers delivered by the Royal Mail. Simply send an email to for a form or write to Freepost RRBT-ZBXB-TTTS, Royal Mail Opt Out, Kingsmead House, Oxford, OX1 1RX. 

• Be sure you really want to stop junk mail.

Not all junk mail is, well, junk. Amid the duff insurance and dodgy discount deals post can sometimes lie hidden gems.

The longest-ever 0% balance transfer card began was a junk mail offer, and many other bespoke market leading deals are too.  So the money-savvy with time to sift through the mail may not want to cancel.

• Turn the tables on texts too. 

What a horrible letdown when your phone beeps with a text, and you discover it’s a ‘reverse billed’ message that charges you to receive it.

Thankfully, you should be able to prevent any more coming through by texting back STOP or STOP ALL, making it illegal for them to send any more.  If that doesn’t work, call your network to stop them but it that fails too, ask to launch an investigation.

• If all else fails, you have a right to change your mind.

Unlike store bought goods, buy from a door-step salesman or over the phone and by mail, and the law automatically means you’ve seven days to change your mind and cancel your goods or any service you’ve signed up for – even if they’re not faulty.

There are a few exceptions: DVDs or CDs where you’ve ripped the seal, flowers, food, personal items such as deodorant. And for doorstep orders only, you must have spent at least £35.