The Trading Standards 10 Con-mandments to avoid getting ripped-off by rogue traders


News from Medway Council website

Medway Council’s Trading Standards team are warning people to watch out for rogue traders who may prey on the vulnerable following the recent bad weather.

Residents are being asked to be vigilant as cowboys could try and con householders into having unnecessary work done.

They have been known to target the elderly and vulnerable after bad weather, tricking them into thinking work needs to be done.

Now, Medway’s Trading Standards department is offering 10 tips on how to avoid the doorstep tricksters.

Cllr Peter Hicks, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said: “After previous storms and flooding we have found rogue traders will use the bad weather to frighten vulnerable residents into having unnecessary work done or they will fix the damage but will charge exorbitant prices.

“Our advice is to always call us on 08454 040506 for advice, guidance and support if you are in any way unsure.”

Trading Standards advises:

1) Always speak to your insurance company before allowing anyone to carry out work

2) Never do business with cold callers offering repairs

3) Always use a reputable company recommended to you or is on an approved trader scheme, such as the Medway Fair Trader Scheme

4) Never agree to have work done by someone who claims they can see a problem with your property. You can always call a reputable trader to check if there really is a problem

5) Don’t be taken in by offers of a bargain. If you do want work doing on your home, get quotes from at least three companies

6) If in doubt, don’t let sales people in to your home. Say “no thank you” and close the door

7) Don’t be taken in by high pressure selling. Ask for more time if you are not sure. A reputable seller will understand

8) Get a receipt with the name, address and phone number of the company on it. Only accept a landline and not a mobile number

9) Always read agreements very thoroughly before you sign. Agreements can be checked by Trading Standards and consider paying by credit card for goods and services costing more than £100. The credit card company will give you some additional protection

10) Be careful not to sign a document agreeing to a visit under the guise of taking part in a street survey, prize draw or other scam. These may be used to try and take away your cancellation rights

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