Wirral residents urged to be extra vigilant of cold callers

Trading Standards officers in Wirral are warning residents to beware of rogue traders offering to carry out repair or maintenance work on their properties after a spate of recent complaints.

The caller may tell the householder that repairs are urgently needed and that structural damage may result if work is not done there and then. 

The activities of cold calling rogue traders are often linked to the activities of distraction burglars and there is evidence that it is the elderly and vulnerable who are deliberately targeted by this crime.

The simple message from Wirral Trading Standards is to always say ‘no’ to any traders offering to carry out work who unexpectedly turn up on your doorstep. These cold callers rarely give householders proper contact details or their legal rights to cancel the contract within 14 days.

Householders can feel pressured into agreeing to have work done. The cost of the work frequently increases considerably from the original estimate and the work is often poorly done, incomplete or unnecessary. It can cost householders thousands of pounds to have the damage put right.

Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee, said, “I’d urge people never to agree to work on the doorstep. If you think that work is needed to your property, get quotes from two or three recommended traders and compare them.

“Do not be forced into making a quick decision on your doorstep. Get everything in writing, including the business details, agreed price and work to be done before you agree to work being done – and do not pay by cash.

“This type of crime is particularly abhorrent because of the vulnerability of the people they target and it is vitally important they are stopped in their tracks and, ideally, brought to justice.”

Traders who ‘cold call’ can be very difficult to trace so people are urged to contact Trading Standards as soon as possible – especially if the trader is still present. Contact Trading Standards on 0808 223 1133 or report any suspicious activity or vehicles to the Police on 101.

Image: Kelly L

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