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Rogue trader warning issued in wake of the storm

Tuesday, 29th October 2013.

Suffolk Trading Standards are asking the residents to be cautious of traders going door-to-door offering to undertake garden and building maintenance, following the storm that hit the county yesterday.

Rogue traders trick people into paying very high prices for unnecessary or poor quality work primarily on homes or garden maintenance.

Reports of rogue traders, cowboy builders and doorstep callers are unfortunately still a concern for Suffolk Trading Standards.

Each year, they receive many complaints from residents who have been conned on their own doorsteps by rogue traders. These cons can involve many thousands of pounds and often target vulnerable residents.

To avoid becoming a victim of rogue traders, follow these simple steps:
* Never agree to have work done by somebody who is just passing or take their word that it needs to be done at all;
* Never pay for work before it is completed;
* Do not accept any offer from them to drive you to the bank to withdraw money;
* If you need work done, then visit http://www.checkatrade.com or call by phone on 0845 408 4866.

To combat rogue traders, Suffolk Trading Standards is working in partnership with Checkatrade.com to provide a free directory of reliable traders to consumers. Member businesses are carefully vetted to ensure that known rogues are not admitted.

The scheme is based on customers commenting indirectly upon a trader’s performance and reliability, allowing other consumers to view feedback before choosing the trader. This allows consumers to empower other consumers so they avoid falling into the hands of rogue traders.

Trading Standards is urging everyone who knows or cares for a vulnerable or elderly person to make sure they are aware of their rights when it comes to suspicious door step approaches and to carefully research salespeople before inviting them into their home.

Cllr Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “No one should feel pressured into making a rash buying decision. If in doubt always think twice and get a second opinion.

“People should be extra vigilant about any trader who approaches them about carrying out repair or maintenance work on their home or garden following yesterday’s storm.

"Often rogue traders are opportunists and will see this as a chance to target vulnerable, often elderly people.

“If anyone is concerned about being approached by a rogue trader they should contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 040506.”

Suffolk residents concerned about doorstep callers operating in their area or worried about elderly or vulnerable neighbours being targeted can contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 040506.

Haverhill Online News

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