Page last updated on 18/10/2011
Beware of Doorstep Callers as Winter Approaches
Carmarthenshire Trading Standards Service is again advising residents to be on their guard against rogue traders who ‘cold-call’ to find work.
This follows a recent spate of incidents where elderly people have been targeted by unscrupulous traders offering services such as roof cleaning and other repairs.
In all cases, large amounts of cash have been requested ‘up front’ and in some incidents the consumer has even been taken to the bank to withdraw the money.
Trading Standards Services Manager Roger Edmunds said: “We have noticed a significant increase in such incidents recently and it may be down to the current economic climate.
“Also with the winter weather approaching, traders may use high winds and ice as an excuse to invent problems that may not exist, such as loose roof tiles etc.
“We would urge residents not to agree to have work done on their property on their doorstep, especially if the trader is asking for a large deposit. We would always recommend taking some time to think about what needs doing and obtaining two or three quotes from other traders.”
Business Manager, Public Protection and Youth Services, Cllr Pam Palmer said: “Residents need to take care not to be tricked into have unnecessary or unduly expensive work carried out on their homes. They should obtain several quotes from local traders to ensure they get a good deal.”
From a legal point of view, if residents do enter into a contract with a trader at their home then they should be given a written notice laying down their right to a seven day cooling-off period. Failure to do this is a criminal offence.
Anyone who is concerned about a trader that they, or an elderly neighbour or relative, have contracted with can contact Trading Standards. If a matter is urgent then they should contact the police – either on 101 (non-emergency) or 999 (emergency only).
Traders requiring advice on their legal requirements when contracting with a customer at their home are encouraged to contact Trading Standards for advice and guidance on 01267 234567.
Residents can obtain advice about their consumer rights from Consumer Direct 0n 08454 04 05 06.