THURROCK Trading Standards are warning residents to be on their guard against doorstep traders who may try and trick them into unnecessary or expensive repairs after recent bad weather.
Across the borough high winds and rain have caused damage to roofs, trees and fences in many households but residents should not be tempted into repairs from workers calling door to door.
Thurrock Council Portfolio Holder for Community, Culture and Leisure Councillor Lynn Worrall, said: “It is not unusual following such weather that unscrupulous traders trawl up and down streets looking for signs of damage and then call offering to do repair work. They often particularly prey on elderly and vulnerable people and once they have a ‘victim’, they will invariably cultivate the work and charge huge sums for minor corrective work. “
Trading Standards and other agencies actively discourage residents from dealing with doorstep traders as they often leave little or no paperwork and the work is sub standard. It is tempting to get jobs done there and then but in most cases the work can wait until a later date or, when a reputable trader can be found.
There are strict legal requirements concerning cancellation rights and business names but in many case of doorstep callers these are not complied with making the trader very difficult to trace when things go wrong.
Thurrock Trading Standards support the Buy With Confidence Scheme (BWC), which lists approved traders who can carry out general household repair work. Many actively state that they will do small jobs and charge a reduced or maximum rate. Approved traders can be found online at: www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk
Any resident approached by a doorstep trader who feels they have been wrongly treated can report the incident through Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.