Carmarthenshire Trading Standards investigate rogue trader reports
Carmarthenshire Trading Standards are advising people to think twice before agreeing to pay cold callers for gardening and home improvements, and instead use the council’s Registered Traders Scheme.
Their advice comes as police investigate reports that rogue traders are targeting older people in the Llangunnor, Burry Port and Llangennech areas.
Several people have reported that they have been charged large sums of money for work such as gardening and gutter cleaning, and that the work is not completed or carried out to a satisfactory standard.
The reports also confirm that no paperwork is being provided, therefore leaving the customer without cancellation rights or contact details for the business.
Trading Standards are working with police to investigate the issue, but in the meantime are advising people to be on their guard against cold callers, and to help elderly neighbours by keeping an eye out in the community.
The council’s Registered Trader Scheme lists a number of local handypersons and gardeners, all of which have signed up to a code of practice that requires them to trade fairly and honestly and abide by the law - this includes giving paperwork and charging a reasonable price.
Cllr Jim Jones, Executive Board Member for Public Protection, said: “We’re concerned to hear reports of people being ripped off on their own doorstep. Doorstep callers often use very sophisticated selling tactics to persuade people to part with their cash – never be pressurised into paying for goods and services and always seek advice from someone you trust.”
For further advice and information from Carmarthenshire Trading Standards call 01267 234567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report suspicious behaviour to police immediately on 101.
Protect yourself from becoming a victim:
- If in doubt, keep them out
- Don’t sign on the spot
- Always ask for an identity card and look up the organisation to check the salesperson’s identity is correct
- Don't get taken in by sales banter or high pressure selling techniques
- Always shop around for the best price
- Read the small print and double check the facts
- Talk to someone you trust for a second opinion
- Avoid handing over money before work is started
- Think very carefully before you agree to a trader starting any work straight away
- Trust your instincts - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
- And finally ... it’s okay to say NO. Remember it’s your doorstep and your decision. If you feel pressured for any reason ask the person to leave