Warnings issued to householders against doorstep traders

August 30 2016

HOUSEHOLDERS have been warned against rogue traders who have been targeting South Gloucestershire.

HOUSEHOLDERS have been warned against rogue traders who have been targeting South Gloucestershire.

The district’s police and trading standards officers have teamed up to remind people how to avoid unscrupulous tradespeople. 

Local policing inspector Lee Moore said: “We’ve had reports of flyers being delivered in the area promoting home maintenance and gardening services. 

“While many legitimate firms use leaflets to promote their business, we know that it’s also a favourite tactic for so-called rogue traders - people who persuade householders to have work done unnecessarily, to a poor standard or who overcharge. 

“We want to remind people how they can steer clear of them.” 

Inspector Moore advised residents to get three quotes from reputable traders if they wanted work carried out and and to remember they had a legal right to a cooling off period before work started. 

South Gloucestershire Council also holds a Buy with Confidence directory at http://www.southglos.gov.uk/business/trading-standards/buy-with-confidence/ to help householders.

The council said the best advice was not to deal with cold callers on the doorstep. Anyone unsure about a caller should shut the door on them.

No-one should pay for work or materials in advance, give a cash deposit or agree to someone starting work straight away.

A council spokesman said: “Rogue trading is linked with distraction burglaries and rogue traders are known to have criminal convictions for fraud, violence and trading standards offences.” 

Anyone who thinks they, a friend, neighbour or relative has been a victim of a rogue trader should report the matter by calling trading standards officers on 01454 868001, emailing trading.standards@southglos.gov.uk or contacting the police.

Officers said leaflets for genuine businesses would usually include the trader’s full name, address and a landline phone number, which could be checked. People should be suspicious of any leaflet only giving a mobile number and no other contact details.