Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards is urging people to be on their guard against rogue traders and cowboy builders, having seen a rise in incidents over the summer.
The service has dealt with 140 reports of rogue traders since the start of the year. Recently Officers have received intelligence about rogue traders offering building and gardening work in the Cannock, Newcastle and Stafford areas.
These traders often knock on people’s doors and offer to carry out work immediately. The work is then either conducted to a low standard, overpriced and often never completed – despite people paying more than the cost of a reputable trader.
Victoria Wilson, who is responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council, expressed her concerns about the increase in reported cases: “We are seeing a rise in complaints related to unscrupulous traders preying on innocent homeowners and are working closely with the police to stop it.
“These rogue operators often call uninvited and pressure residents into agreeing to go ahead with work at short notice. The work they provide is often grossly overpriced and very poor quality. They often use pressure tactics to extract additional payments from their victims and often target older people.
“It’s really important to remain vigilant and take precautions when hiring tradespeople for home projects. Following some simple steps, such as not signing up with a stranger who knocks on your door, getting three quotes, checking reviews, and avoiding payments up front for a job in cash, will help keep you safe.”