Northamptonshire homeowners are being encouraged not to buy goods or services from cold-callers after a spate of complaints about suspected rogue traders.
The recent warmer weather has resulted in a number of calls to Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards from people who have been offered maintenance work on their property by doorstep traders.
County council cabinet member for member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage said: “Unfortunately the recent mild weather seems to have sparked a spate of suspected rogue traders who are cold-calling on elderly and vulnerable residents to try to pressure them into unnecessary work on their home at an inflated cost.
“All too often, this work is never completed or carried out to a poor standard.
“Our advice is clear – do not pay for goods or services from a doorstep trader. If you do need work carrying out, our Buy With Confidence scheme will help you to find a reputable tradesman who has been approved by Trading Standards.”
Some of the complaints received relate to cold-callers who have offered roofing work which has been unnecessary and over-priced, and the householders, who are often elderly, have said they felt pressured to hand over cash payments.
In one case, the elderly couple handed over £1,000 and no work has been completed. On a number of occasions, the rogue traders told the householders that they have been working on a neighbour’s roof and noticed that work needed doing on theirs, which was found to be untrue.
If you are concerned about a caller at your door or suspect that rogue traders or distraction burglars are operating in your community, contact the dedicated Doorstep crime Action Network (DAN) on 0345 23 07 702, or if a crime is in progress, dial 999.