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Serial rogue trader sentenced to six months in jail.

Thursday, 1st October 2015.

A Suffolk rogue trader has been sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to four offences (covering two different sets of consumers) under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations Act.

Paul Bagley, 32, of Thackeray Road, Ipswich who had previously been given a one year community order for fraud by false representation pleaded guilty to two counts of not giving cancellation information as required and two counts of taking money for materials, but then not providing the agreed service. These offences were carried out when Mr Bagley was serving an 18 month suspended prison sentence, for similar breaches under the same Regulations, which occurred in 2013

Councillor Sarah Stamp, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “This case really highlights the need for consumers to use reputable traders, such as those on the trader scheme, Checkatrade, and not to risk dealing with unscrupulous traders they meet on the doorstep.

“Mr Bagley is a repeat offender who, after several prosecutions continues to prey on vulnerable people

"This sentence stands as a warning to anyone considering taking advantage of Suffolk consumers - Suffolk Trading Standards will find you and will take the strongest possible action against you."

If anyone is concerned about being approached by a rogue trader they should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506. When seeking a reliable trader, talk to family, friends and neighbours to get recommendations or look for a Trader via Checkatrade.com, whose local members are vetted by Suffolk Trading Standards.

Suffolk Trading Standards’ ‘Join the Fight’ campaign helps expose criminals like Bagley, with members of the public acting as Consumer Champions; forming a bridge between Trading Standards and the local community.

The Consumer Champion Network, which was initially set up in 2011, helps Trading Standards to reach residents directly through the dedication of individuals willing to volunteer in their community. Champions can spread the message by holding talks at their local library, chatting with friends and family or simply sharing information on social media. If you feel you could make a difference and ‘Join the Fight, visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/jointhefight.

Suffolk Trading Standards have also compiled a top 10 list of how to deal with doorstep sellers:

1. Never sign on the spot

2. Check the trader’s identity. Always ask for an identity card and look up the organisation to check the salesperson’s identity is genuine

3. Be wary of special offers or warnings about your home

4. Always shop around for the best price

5. Read the small print. Always read documents carefully before you sign them and make sure you fully understand your rights

6. Double check the facts. Make sure you fully understand the total costs of the transaction –including estimates, delivery and installation and the arrangements for after-sales servicing

7. Talk to someone you trust for a second opinion

8. Don’t hand over a cash deposit. Avoid handing over money before work is started. A reliable trader will never ask you to do this

9. Think very carefully before you agree to a trader starting any work straight away. If you agree to have any work done or goods delivered within the fourteen day cooling-off period, you may have to pay if you later change your mind and cancel the contract

10. Trust your instincts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Haverhill Online News

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