Rogue traders target Powys residents
3 December 2019
Residents and businesses in Powys are being warned by the county council that a team of rogue traders are in the county offering to carry out property repairs and maintenance.
The warning has been issued by Powys County Council's Trading Standards Service to ensure residents and businesses are not conned out of money by the rogue traders. The service has received reports that residents are being approached and offered property repair services.
The council's Trading Standards Service also has examples of some cold callers that are unqualified conmen or woman, who charge extortionate amounts of money for little or no work with prices also being very misleading. They usually demand immediate payment while practice methods are aimed for not being traced.
Clive Jones, the council's Professional Lead for Trading Standards, Community Safety and Emergency Planning, said: "In these cases the work conducted is usually extremely poor. Our advice is never to accept work from cold callers and remember the older saying that if it is too good to be true, it usually is.
"The best advice we can give householders or businesses is not to employ any unknown trader who cold-calls offering to carry out repairs or improvements to their property."
If potential customers do decide to employ an unknown tradesperson, the council's Trading Standards Service advice is:
- Check the traders' credentials, particularly any phone number given
- Ask friends or neighbours if they have heard of the firm, and if local, check to ensure their premises are where they say they are
- Ask the trader for references, and if possible view an example of their work
- It is advisable to use a trader who is a member of a trade association, but check the claim with the trade body before employing them
- Ask for a written quotation before going ahead. Make sure the trader's name and address is on it and that the price for the work is clear
- Keep a note of any vehicle details including the registration number
- Never part with money until the work is completed to your satisfaction. Always try to pay by cheque or credit card - never be persuaded into going to the bank or building society to withdraw cash.
Legislation requires cold callers to give consumers a 'cancellation notice', giving them 14 days to cancel the contract made for any work over £42. Failure to issue a cancellation notice in the correct manner is a criminal offence.
Anyone who thinks they may be a victim or thinks someone they know may have been, should get in touch with Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.