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Trading Standards team warn of rogue workmen

07/03/11

Householders in Aberdeen are being warned to be on their guard against rogue traders offering to do gardening work, build driveways or mend roofs.

Aberdeen City Council's Trading Standards service is aware of a number of firms and individuals operating in the city trying to get work from leafleting homes or by going door-to-door.

The rogue traders use a variety of sales pitches including:

  • the property, if not repaired, will become dangerous to live in;
  • a delay in carrying out the repair work might cause additional problems to the structure of your home;
  • offering a one-day only price in an attempt to hurry the householder into making a decision.

Every summer the Trading Standards team receives numerous complaints about bogus workmen. These usually arise when there is a problem with the work and people have difficulty contacting the trader as the names, addresses and telephone numbers provided are false. This often leaves the consumer facing additional expense to have the work corrected.

Householders are reminded that rogue traders on occasion have newly painted vans or photographs of work they have done or list a local number in an attempt to appear respectable. A telephone number that has an Aberdeen dialling code does not necessarily mean the traders are based locally. Residents should also be wary of companies that only list mobile phone or 0800 numbers and of those that give no business address.

Aberdeen City Council's Principal Trading Standards Officer Del Henderson said: "This is the time of year when rogue traders start to target people.

"Residents should be wary about hiring firms or individuals that simply turn up on their doorstep offering to build a driveway or mend their roof. Responsible and legitimate companies know the rules and adhere to them. They will supply information regarding the right to cancel and will give advice on any council permission that might be required before work begins.

"Before hiring anyone it is best to get two or three quotes from different companies and if possible ask for references too. Don't pay any money up front and if you're not happy with the work, don't pay until it has been completed properly. And, remember if you are unsure just say no."

For further information or advice, contact Aberdeen City Trading Standards Service via the Consumer Direct help line on 08454 040506.