With Easter approaching and better weather on its way, WCC’s Trading Standards Service is expecting an increase in complaints about doorstep rogue traders and is urging residents to be on their guard.
Trading Standards Officers are currently investigating rogue trader incidents, supporting elderly and vulnerable residents, and cracking down on illegal and misleading roadside advertising used by unscrupulous traders to promote their businesses.
Mark Ryder, Warwickshire County Council’s Strategic Director for Communities, said: “We work closely with our community partners to ensure that all of our residents, including the most vulnerable, remain safe and protected.We would therefore strongly urge residents not to buy from unexpected doorstep traders or from people who make telephone cold calls, offering their services.
“Rogue traders can be very convincing, often claiming that residents need repairs carried out to their properties when this is simply not the case.
“They may make bogus claims to try and get you to agree a job including claiming they are working on a neighbour’s property. They may even say they work for the local Council!
“If your property needs work, whether it be repairs to your roof, more home insulation, a new driveway or gardening, take your time when choosing a trader and follow our top tips.”
- Rogue traders often operate door to door but also advertise on the roadside and with the use of flyers. They may even have their own websites.
- Rogue traders offer a range of ‘work’ including gardening, roof tiling, driveway repairs and guttering.
- Rogue traders quote low prices, but costs soon rise and they often find more work ‘that needs doing urgently’.
- Rogue traders like to appear local and genuine, but the addresses they use are usually false and their memberships of trade schemes bogus.
- Never agree to buy goods or services from people who unexpectedly phone you or knock on your door. If in doubt, put the phone down and keep your door closed.
- If you are interested in having work done on your property, seek quotes from reputable traders with verifiable names and addresses. Try to visit their premises if you can and ask to see examples of their work.
- It’s becoming increasingly popular for people looking for a good trader to seek recommendations on social media. Using a recommended trader is a good idea, but make sure you still do your own checks.
- Don’t rely upon verbal agreements, make sure everything you want done and how much it will cost is in a written contract before your trader starts work.
- Make sure your contractor is properly insured, otherwise if things go wrong or someone is hurt, you might end up having to pay to get things fixed or pay damages and legal fees.
- Warwickshire Trading Standards operates an approved trader scheme, visit www.noroguetradershere.com or phone: 0800 233 5000.
- If you suspect someone of being a rogue trader, or find yourself accosted by uninvited doorstep sellers, contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.
- Keep up to date with the latest rogue trader and scam warnings by subscribing to our regular email alerts: https://mailchi.mp/warwickshire/scamawareness
For more help and advice, visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards