Peterborough City Council is warning residents
to be wary of rogue doorstep traders after receiving reports of
overcharging and unsatisfactory work.
The city council's trading standards team has
received a number of complaints from residents about doorstep
traders offering garden maintenance or clearance, roofing and
guttering work or driveway repairs. The work carried out was poor
quality and prices charged were excessive.
Donna Hall, the city council's business
regulation manager, said: "Rogue trading refers to the practice
where consumers are cold called and deliberately overcharged for
unnecessary and unsatisfactory work.
"The majority of victims are elderly and
vulnerable and they are sometimes subjected to intimidating
behaviour to extort money. There are many responsible businesses
out there and we would urge consumers to take steps to ensure that
tradesmen they employ are reputable.
"We are always keen to work with legitimate
traders using leaflet drops and/or door knocking to find work, to
ensure they comply with the law. The introduction of new
legislation in 2008 means that if certain laws are not complied
with the consumer may not have to pay the full amount for any work
"We have investigated several incidents of
rogue trading in recent months and in some cases have managed to
save consumers thousands of pounds."
The team offers the following advice on
dealing with doorstep sellers:-
- Always ask for identification and check their
- Never be pressured into having work carried out immediately.
Allow yourself time to think - genuine companies will give you a
seven day ‘cooling off period’
- Businesses should give a fixed address and a landline telephone
number on all their paperwork
- Do not pay the whole amount before the work is finished
- Never be pressured into letting someone into your house. If you
feel threatened ask them to go and if they do not then call the
If you suspect that you, a family member or
neighbour have been called on by a rogue trader report it to
Consumer Direct 08454 04 05 06 with as much information as possible
- for example vehicle registration, colour and type, or any names
given by the trader.
The Doorstep Regulations cover all salespeople
who visit consumers in their homes to sell goods or services
(costing more than £35) whether you have invited them or not.
A trader must provide you with a written cancellation form, whether
or not a written contract is provided.