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Beware rogue traders

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Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Trading Standards team are warning residents to beware of rogue traders after receiving reports of a number operating in the Southdown area of Bath.   

With many of us currently spending more time at home, rogue traders are using the opportunity to call on unsuspecting households offering convincing deals to have work done. Residents often end up paying more than they intended for unnecessary and poor-quality work.

Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “Unfortunately rogue traders are trying to take advantage of people during COVID-19 and residents should be extremely cautious. These rogue traders can be charming and polite in order to get work, but often put pressure on people to make quick decisions. Of course, they only accept cash which makes it difficult for them to be traced by Trading Standards or the Police and once they have your money the price often increases or the job is left unfinished. Always say no to doorstep sellers. Always do your research before entering into a contract and never part with large amounts of money before work starts."

No work should be carried out on your property by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild, or when someone in their own household has symptoms. Social distancing should be maintained and regular hand washing carried out. For further information and guidance visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes

Trading Standards suggest getting a number of quotations before any building work starts and not to necessarily go for the lowest priced quote as rogue traders have previously underquoted for work in order to get the job.

Residents are advised to beware if they are asked to pay a lot of money upfront or are not provided with any official paperwork. Companies which only provide a mobile telephone number on marketing material should be avoided as it is easy for them to disappear without a trace.

Residents looking to employ the services of a trader they can trust can access details of Trading Standards’ approved list of ‘Buy with Confidence’ traders  by visiting: https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/

Before agreeing any work, it’s recommended residents:

  • read reviews of traders and if possible use the Buy with Confidence approved trader Scheme
  • always get a detailed written quotation
  • ask at least three approved traders for quotes
  • never pay up front and or pay cash
  • say no to doorstep sellers
  • check the trader’s references and even pay visits to the references.

Anyone who requires advice or thinks they may have fallen victim to a rogue trader should call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

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