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News  »   Press Release from Trading Standards

    Press Release from Trading Standards    14 May, 2021

Public Protection Partnership Press Release – 27th April 2021

PPP Urges Homeowners Not to Source Tradespeople via Facebook without Also Checking Credentials

Over the past 12 months we've all been spending a lot more time at home and as a result building and home improvement projects have never been more popular. Sadly, this has led to an increase of complaints to our Trading Standards team as unscrupulous traders take advantage of the surge in demand. We are seeing an increase in consumers sourcing their tradespeople via community Facebook groups and pages. A typical post might go along the lines of “Does anyone know a builder who can quote for our extension project.” People are then using the recommendations in the responses to source their tradesperson, without do any further research on the person/company recommended. PPP are urging homeowners to do their homework before engaging with any tradesperson before allowing them to work on their home and garden. - Always get three quotes for any work you want commencing - Get the work expected in writing with a price, make sure you are happy with what’s being listed as the work that will be undertaken - If you’re relying on a recommendation then do so from someone you know and trust, a friend, neighbour or relative. Go and see the work the tradesperson did for that person. Were they happy and was the work up to standard? - Look for traders via the Buy with Confidence scheme - Use traders who are registered with their trade’s guild - Never use tradespeople who knock on your door looking for work, good tradespeople are booked up weeks or months ahead of time Remember that you have cancellation rights of 14 days if the contract is made away from trade premises. This is a cooling off period to think about the quote given and maybe seek advice as to whether the price quoted is reasonable. It’s important to remember to avoid allowing a tradesperson to start the job before the 14 days are up. If you do, you’re waiving your right to cancel and the trader must confirm in writing that the consumer is waiving their right to cancel by allowing the job to commence. If you have had dealings with a tradesperson, you are not happy with, such as the work is incomplete, not started as promised or sub-standard then please contact our Trading Standards team on 01635 503242 or complete our online enquiry form here. One recent incident is mentioned below: A retired school teacher from Reading, who was almost conned out of £30,000, is warning others to be on their guard against rogue traders.Ann Dismukes was concerned when a £40 quote for clearing the gutter escalated to work on the whole roof. She raised concerns with Trading Standards after becoming ill as a result of worrying how she was going to pay. The traders, calling themselves The Roofing Firm, have been convicted for the attempted scam. The work has now been done properly by professional builders at a third of the cost. Ann Dismukes was in her garden feeding the birds when a man came up to her and asked if she would like the gutters of her house cleaned. Ann says she thought she was helping someone to get work, so agreed for it to be done for £40. But, within days, scaffolding had been put up and tiles were taken off the roof, as the workmen piled on the pressure and insisted the whole roof needed replacing. Ann's son, Steve Dismukes, had become suspicious at the roofing firm's reluctance to put anything properly in writing. He said: "The fact that anyone could meet her and try to rob her of such vast sums of money, and leave her with a roof not fit for purpose...I just can't understand how a person could do that." Matthew Golledge from Reading Trading Standards says in some incidents with rogue traders, it's often the elderly and vulnerable who are victimised and lose their life savings. He says: "This prosecution sends out a clear message that the council will not hesitate to act against these offenders who carry out illegal activities.

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