Trading Standards warn of rogue doorstep traders following high winds
West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service are expecting complaints to rise about doorstep callers following the high winds over the past few days.
The winds have caused damage to properties including roofs, guttering, and fencing. This in turn will create an opportunity for rogue doorstep traders.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards are reminding consumers not to deal with traders who call at their homes offering to carry out any repair work.
Rogue doorstep traders use various tactics:-
- Specifically targeting elderly and vulnerable consumers
- Scaring consumers into have the work carried out
- Advising that work is needed when this might not be the case
- Quoting for one price and then finding further jobs that need urgent attention once the work starts. This leads to escalated prices. Once works begins consumers, especially elderly consumers, often feel they have no choice but to agree to the work.
Tips on having work carried out at your property:-
- Do not deal with doorstep traders
- Always get at least 3 quotes for work
- Make sure you get a written quote
If you agree to a contract make sure you are given cancellation rights
- Use a trader recommended to you
- Go to www.casac.org.uk/checkpoint for a list of approved traders in Leeds
- Use traders who are members of a trade association
- Has the trader told you there are a member of a trader association? Check with the trade association that the trader is a member before you agree to the work being done
- Remember you have a seven day cooling off period in which you can cancel the contract
- Do not feel pressured into having work carried out at your property
Councillor Bill Urry, of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee, said ‘I urge consumers to be on their guard against doorstep traders who will try to cash in following the damage caused to properties because of the bad weather. Please look out for doorstep traders targeting your elderly neighbours.’
If you are concerned that you or a neighbour may be a victim of a doorstep trader, please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 04 05 06.
Notes to Editor
For further information please contact David Lodge, Trading Standards Divisional Manager, telephone 0113 393 9704
DATE: 06 December 2013