Sunday, 23 March 2014

Beware Rogue Traders

Trading Standards and the Police often receive complaints about people who have had work carried out by doorstep traders.  Typically a trader will call at the door uninvited offering to carry out work such as home improvements, repairs or maintenance. The work done might be unnecessary, shoddy or unfinished and the price is often highly inflated.
The trader may make you feel harassed, threatened or intimidated in to agreeing to work you don't want.

Some doorstep traders are genuine; if you choose to use them, always:
  • Check the trader's name, business address, landline telephone number and identification.
  • Get written notice of a 7-day right to cancel.
  • Get a second opinion and check the price by getting other quotes from reputable traders.
  • Get a clear, written agreement on the work to be done and how much it will cost.
Be suspicious of any offers to do gardening, roofing, guttering, drainage, driveway or electrical work from anybody who turns up uninvited at your door.  Don't invite unexpected callers in to your home and never pay any cash up-front.  Always obtain a receipt.

If you're suspicious about a doorstep trader or feel threatened in any way, report it to the Police as soon as possible (ideally while they're still in the area).  Telephone 101 for all non-urgent reports and enquiries or 999 in an emergency.  Also consider displaying a door sticker to say 'we do not buy or sell to callers at the door.' (available through the NHW office at 25p each)

If you have information about any crime, phone the police on 101 or you can call anonymously to the independent charity CRIMESTOPPERS 0800 555 111.  For general information about Neighbourhood Watch nationally see the www.ourwatch.org.uk website.