Storms bring out the rogue traders
ROGUE traders are reported to be trying to exploit the recent stormy weather in Runcorn and Widnes.
Halton Trading Standards has warned that there has been a spike in the number of complaints in the area over cold callers claiming work needs to be done to householders’ properties.
A spokesman for the unit said that cases have arisen when initial minor jobs such as gutter clearance of trimming branches spirals into claims that roof tiles are loose or major tree surgery is needed.
Costs soon escalate from what might appear to be a reasonable £30 for an hour’s work into hundreds and in some cases thousands of pounds.
At this point the trader may become more aggressive and will even insist on taking the homeowner to the bank to withdraw the cash
Vulnerable residents such as the elderly are particularly at risk and neighbours, relatives and friends have been urged to be vigilant.
Cllr Dave Cargill (Trading ● Standards) said: “These people have no morals and will quite happily take money from anyone regardless of their vulnerability.
“If you have any reason to suspect a caller, or if there are dubious looking males calling house to house in your road, then don’t hesitate to call Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0345 404 0506.
“When you call try and provide a description of who has knocked, what they were selling, any vehicle details and business names they have used would be helpful ● to us.
“If they’ve left a leaflet then put it to one side until we arrive.
“Also remember, if you receive a visit from a door step caller claiming to be from a reputable company, energy provider or the council, then ask to see their ID before letting them in. If they can’t show their ID card, or you have any reason to suspect they are not who they say they are then refuse to let them in.
“If you are suspicious or are not expecting a visit, contact the reputable company and if they haven’t sent anyone out, report the incident to Cheshire police on 101.”
Halton Borough Council provides ‘no cold calling’ cards and letterbox stickers free from any of Halton’s Direct Link offices.
Anyone who has a card or sticker and a cold-caller knocks anyway should report it to Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0345 404 0506.
Victims of fraud should call Halton Trading Standards on 0151 511 8785 or 0151 511 8775.
The recent storms that battered Runcorn and Widnes have seen a rise in the number of traders claiming residents need repair work doing at their properties
Cllr Dave Cargill, Trading Standards