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Rogue doorstep sellers on the prowl

Created on 28/07/2010 @ 11:34


Residents from Welshpool and its surrounding communities are being warned to be cautious about door-to-door salesmen, with reported complaints on the rise.
An awareness campaign urging householders to take time to think about people who call at the door is being supported by the Powys Community Safety Partnership (CSP), with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) warning people that the summer is an opportune time for rogue traders. The CSP is urging local residents to be particularly vigilant if they are looking to undertake outside building and home improvement works.
Rogue doorstep traders will often offer services at attractive rates and use persuasive sales techniques to encourage people into making hasty decisions.
Advice service Consumer Direct received more than 5,300 complaints last year about traders offering home maintenance work on the doorstep, with complaints peaking in the summer months from July through to the autumn.
Roofing jobs received the most complaints during 2009 followed by tarmacing and paving complaints, Consumer Direct revealed. The top five uninvited doorstep trader complaints in 2009 were:
- Roofing (28 per cent)
- Tarmacing and paving (23 per cent)
- Insulation (nine per cent)
- General building work (eight per cent)
- Guttering (six per cent)
Cllr Graham Brown, Chairman of the Powys CSP, said: “It’s not illegal for handymen to canvas for work in this way but it is important people are cautious and don't make any hasty decisions about agreeing to have work done by traders who come directly to their doorstop.
“Rogue doorstep trading is an ongoing problem in the area and work or services carried out can sometimes be unnecessary, of a poor standard, much more expensive than originally quoted or not done at all. We are keen to reassure residents that we have methods to warn them before they are contacted and are developing rogue trader controlled zones to up the ante against traders who target the vulnerable.”
Top tips when facing doorstep sellers:
-           Do not agree to on-the-spot house repairs or sign anything on-the-spot
-           Be wary of special offers or a warning that your house in unsafe
-           Do not make snap decisions. Take time to talk to someone you trust first
-           If in doubt, call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or 08454 04 05 05
If you have information on rogue traders operating in the Welshpool area or have had a recent problem with such work contact your local Trading Standards office on contact 01686 617524 or Dyfed Powys Police on 101.
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