Rogue traders usually call door to door and it is common for them to offer to do work on driveways, guttering, gardening or roof repairs. The best way to tackle the problem is to turn them away at the door.
Please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service with reports of any suspected rogue trader incidents or suspicious activities, or if you would like advice or support from us on such an incident. You can also join a Neighbourhood Watch group in your local area. For more information visit them here.
If you would like more information on home maintenance and your rights when you have work done on your home, please click here.
The Cambridgeshire Bobby Scheme is a local charity which provides a service to older or vulnerable people by improving home security to reduce crime and the fear of crime. If you are 65 and over and/or disabled and would like a visit from The Bobby Scheme advisers to reduce your chance of becoming a victim, please call them on 07866 602100 or 01480 413311.
This is a typical case study – don’t let them get away with it!
Mrs Smith is a pensioner living alone in sheltered accommodation. One day she has a knock at the door and a man tells her that he has noticed a loose tile on her roof. He offers to fix it for £100.
Mrs Smith isn’t keen and said to him she would like to think about it first however the man is quite persistent persuades Mrs Smith to make a cup of tea so they can discuss it. He warns her about the damage that could be done if the rain got in. Mrs Smith is worried by this but firmly says she would like to talk to her daughter first, so asks him to leave. The man continues to try to persuade her to let him do the work for a further 1 ½ hours. Mrs Smith is tired and so agrees to have the work done in order to get the man to leave. He gives her a card with the name Gerry Connors on it and a mobile phone number and the Federation of Master Builders logo. He doesn’t give her any other paperwork.
The following day he returns, goes up a ladder and within a few minutes is back at Mrs Smith’s door to say that there are more loose tiles and the work will cost a further £250 max. Mr Connors is on the roof for a couple of hours and then presents Mrs Smith with a bill for £2500.
Mrs Smith says she can’t afford this kind of money. Mr Connors turns nasty and threatens to go back up on the roof and remove the tiles. As she doesn’t have the money in the house, Mr Connors takes her to the bank to withdraw the money in cash to pay him.