Warning over rogue trader reports
Residents in Carmarthenshire are being advised to think twice before agreeing to pay cold callers for gardening and building works.
It comes after the council’s Trading Standards team received a report from a farmer in the Gwendraeth Valley who had handed over a large sum of money for substandard work carried out to his driveway.
Officers are working with police to investigate the issue, but in the meantime are advising people to be cautious and not to accept building and maintenance repair offers from cold callers.
Bogus doorstep traders often use a range of persuasive and emotional tactics to secure a fast sale and con people out of their money, for example, they may make you feel that there is a great urgency.
Often the work is not completed or carried out to a satisfactory standard and no paperwork is provided, therefore leaving the customer without cancellation rights or contact details for the business.
Executive Board Member for Public Protection Cllr Philip Hughes said: “With spring and summer fast approaching we tend to see an increase in this type of cold calling. We would urge residents not to agree to have work done on their doorstep, especially if the trader is asking for a large deposit.
“Trading Standards officers have found that the victims are being hugely overcharged for a very poor standard of work. Consumers should never feel pressured into agreeing to have work done on their property. If work is needed then we would recommend taking some time to think about what needs doing and obtain two or three quotes from other traders.”
Protect yourself from becoming a victim:
- Don't get taken in by sales banter or high pressure selling techniques
- Think very carefully before you agree to a trader starting any work straight away
- Talk to someone you trust for a second opinion
- Avoid handing over money before work is started
- Always shop around for the best price
- Read the small print and double check the facts
- Trust your instincts - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
- It’s okay to say NO. Remember it’s your doorstep and your decision. If you feel pressured for any reason ask the person to leave
- Report suspicious behaviour to police immediately on