Warning over ‘bogus’ workmen

Trading standards and the police are warning people against doorstep traders offering garden and home maintenance services following complaints by Exmouth residents.

Bogus contractors are operating in the area, targeting the elderly and vulnerable.

They cold call on properties, offering to carry out garden work or to repair fascias and guttering.

Trading standards operations manager, Peter Greene, said: “When this type of trader cold-calls, the consumer is normally entitled to a seven day cooling-off period and the trader is required, by law, to give a written notice of cancellation rights.

“However, in cases that we have investigated, this is rarely complied with and the householder may be pressured into having the work done quickly.”

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He said in his experience with doorstep building and maintenance gangs was that the work was often shoddy and overpriced and in many cases not completed at all.

“We are aware of complainants who have been intimidated into parting with thousands of pounds and we are concerned that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

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“Many victims of this sort of scam are too afraid or embarrassed to report the matter.”

Trading Standards are urging anyone approached to refuse any work, and to contact them on: 0845 4040506.

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