On The Beat: November 2017

November 03 2017

HAVE you had people cold-calling or delivering leaflets for home maintenance or gardening work? We’ve had recent reports of people offering to clean driveways or make roof or gutter repairs.

Beware doorstep tricksters

 

HAVE you had people cold-calling or delivering leaflets for home maintenance or gardening work? We’ve had recent reports of people offering to clean driveways or make roof or gutter repairs.

While many legitimate firms use promotional leaflets, it’s a favourite tactic for so-called ‘rogue traders’ – people who persuade householders to have work done unnecessarily, to a poor standard or who overcharge.

There’s a link between these rogue traders, who may have convictions for fraud and other offences, and burglars.

There was a recent incident of a man who offered to make repairs for an elderly householder in Bristol, then stole cash from him and made off without doing any work. Thanks to a call with vehicle details from a concerned witness, we made an arrest.

We work closely with South Gloucestershire Council’s trading standards officers to deal with offenders and want to remind you how you can steer clear of unscrupulous traders:

• Be suspicious of any business leaflet which only contains a mobile number, with no other contact details. Genuine businesses will include the trader’s full name, address and landline telephone number

• Don’t deal with cold callers on your doorstep

• Don’t open the door – use the door chain or deal with them through a window or letter box

• Get three quotes for work 

• Do not pay for work or materials in advance or hand over a cash deposit 

• Don’t agree to a trader starting any work straight away – you have a legal right to a cooling off period before work starts

• Failure to provide a notice of cancellation rights is a • If you do not receive your cancellation rights in writing, the trader cannot hold you to the contract

• Keep your cash in the bank, not at home 

 

You can report rogue traders through Citizens’ Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or by emailing trading.standards@southglos.gov.uk.

South Gloucestershire Council’s website, www.southglos.gov.uk has a ‘Buy with Confidence’ directory along with more information about rogue trading and doorstep crime.

If you’re concerned about anyone calling door-to-door in your area – especially if they are visiting elderly or vulnerable people – call us straight away on 101. If a crime’s underway, ring 999.