Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards is warning residents to beware of rogue traders taking advantage of damaged roofs, fences and fallen trees after storm Ciara blew through Warwickshire and storm Dennis expected to bring further high winds.
Rogue traders can appear both charming and extremely plausible on the doorstep, but their work is of a poor quality and sometimes they will take money for materials and simply disappear. They may quote low prices, but they will soon demand more money and very often the work they claim needs doing is completely unnecessary.
Warwickshire Trading Standards are also warning residents to beware of rogue roofers going door to door, falsely claiming to work for ‘the council’.
Residents have reported receiving knocks on their doors from rogue traders saying their chimneys were on the verge of collapsing if something was not done.
Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “It can be tempting to employ the first person who comes to your door offering to fix that broken fence or loose roof tile.
"However, it can be hard to tell a good trader from a rogue on the doorstep, so Trading Standards are advising residents not to buy at the door and instead seek a range of quotes from reputable traders.”
Top tips to avoid rogue traders:
Don’t buy from unexpected doorstep callers
Go on recommendation and use traders that family or friends have been happy with. If that’s not possible, consider using a Trading Standards vetted and approved trader. Visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders
If your home has experienced structural damage you need a qualified surveyor to tell you what the actual damage is, never rely on the word of a builder alone
Ensure the business has a genuine address – find out how long they have been there for. If necessary ‘Google’ it. If you find lots of businesses at the same address, that can be a warning sign
Ask to see examples of their work and verify it with the householder
Get everything written down - don’t rely on spoken agreements
Be wary of any trader who can start work quickly or straight away. You can expect to wait several months for a good builder to start work
Don’t buy from the first trader who comes to your door or be rushed in to making a quick decision - seek quotes from reputable traders
Report a rogue trader and more information
To report a rogue trader operating in your area or to make a complaint contact Warwickshire Trading Standards via their frontline consumer advice service, the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
Looking for a Trading Standards vetted and approved trader? Visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/approvedtraders
For more information on rogue traders or to subscribe to our scams/rogue trader email alert system, visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards