We received this alert from OWL regarding an increase in rogue traders and are sharing it to increase awareness. Please share this information with your vulnerable neighbours who may not have access to it. And remember, sign up for membership to PSNW for timely information and use the links below.
Dear Watch Member,
Trading Standards is seeing an increase in doorstep rogue trading complaints, especially roof, guttering and chimney work.
Rogue traders contact you in many ways: They cold-call or post a leaflet through the door or they respond to a job posted on a trader matching website. It even happens if you use a ‘trusted trader’ website where full checks haven’t been done to spot the rogues; we are seeing more complaints about this last scenario.
Problems start when a small job turns into a bigger one eg. a quote for replacing loose tiles becomes a whole roofing job. Don’t feel obliged to use the same trader, even if it seems to make sense while they are up on the roof. Get another trader to confirm if the work is actually needed and a reasonable price for it. Alarm bells should ring if an expensive quote is quickly reduced on condition the work is carried out straightaway. Beware if a trader claims a job is urgent and pressures you to agree.
Another warning sign is a lack of paperwork before work starts– look for full information (trader name, address, contact details, company status, full description of work and materials to be used, cost including whether VAT is included, how long the job will take, and proper cancellation rights given at the right time).
Our advice is: Never buy goods or services at the door. Use personal recommendations from friends or family to find a good trader – ensure they are from people you know, not just a local neighbourhood group. Or find a trustworthy, local trader at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/goodtrader.
For advice or for help from Trading Standards call the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133. Report frauds to police via ActionFraud on 0300 123 2040. Call police on 999 if a trader is aggressive or starts work without your agreement. Please look out for vulnerable neighbours and report concerns to us.
Please only reply if you have information that the sender has asked for by tapping on this email address: . If you want to discuss anything else or report a crime, please refer to the Police Contact Advice below.
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Police Contact Advice
- Telephone 999 in an emergency where there is a danger to life or a crime is in progress.
- Telephone 101 for non-emergencies where police attendance is required, to report a crime or to report any other incidents.
- Alternatively, visit www.herts.police.uk/contact to report a non-emergency crime online or chat to a police operator live via our web chat service.
- If you are calling about the above message, please tell us that you are responding to a message from OWL.