Beware of rogue traders

The Trading Standards Service is warning flood victims to be on their guard against rogue traders, cowboy builders and repair companies exploiting their desperate plight.

Roger Marles, Head of Gloucestershire Trading Standards Service said:

Sadly, we know from previous flooding incidents here in the county and elsewhere that conmen and disreputable traders will see the floods as a golden opportunity to make easy money from desperate families.

He added:

I strongly urge householders not to employ the first trader who comes to your door offering their services, but instead seek a range of quotes from local traders with reputations to maintain.

Trading Standards advice to flood victims:

Before you organise any repairs, contact your insurance company. Some insurance companies may arrange approved traders to repair damage on your behalf, but if you organise your own repairs, check what will be covered.

When seeking a reliable trader, talk to family, friends and neighbours to get recommendations, or look for a trader who is a member of an approved code scheme. Be very cautious about employing tradespeople who make unsolicited visits.

Consider getting written quotes (not estimates) from at least three traders.

Consider making staged payments and keeping back a significant part of the cost until the repair job has been satisfactorily completed. If you do this, you can ask for defects to be put right without the need to make a claim or go to court for compensation.

If you are buying goods or services costing over £100, consider paying by credit card, as you may be able to claim your money back from the card company if the trader fails to honour the contract.

Anyone experiencing problems with traders, or needing further advice can call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.


2 Responses to “Beware of rogue traders”

  1. 1 Cllr Suzanne Williams 1 August 2007 at 9:20 pm

    I have had complaints from a local builder about the terminology being used here. There are several builders living near me and they were absolute stars when the flooding began. They were runing about helping everyone they possibly could to secure their properties against the rising waters. There is no doubt that they prevented a lot of damage.

    There is no question that residents need to be aware of unscrupulous traders of all descriptions, but to single out builders is very unfair.

  2. 2 cbcadmin1 2 August 2007 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you for pointing this out Suzanne. I have changed the wording and posted a new story on the blog this morning as we have now heard reports of rogue traders from other flooded areas now operating in Gloucestershire.

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