Friday 7 September 2012

Cold Callers Cheating Caversham Residents

In January I wrote about one of my residents being duped by a rogue trader who knocked on his door with no appointment.  Sadly again there are problems and for speed I copy below an RBC press release which has just been issued:

"Reading Borough Council Press Release

Trading standards are warning Reading residents to be wary of cold calling builders after a spate of homeowners have been lured into paying excessive costs for unnecessary building work.

In the past few weeks, Reading Trading Standards have investigated numerous 'cold caller' cases within the Borough, many being from Caversham, where bogus tradesmen have carried out work on properties.

The trading standards service is actively working with the police in investigating this type of trading practise. In the most recent case an elderly person from Caversham was scammed out of £6000. The initial building work was to be minimal repairs to the roof but this escalated after the builders kept finding further 'essential' work. Over the period of a few days the resident was taken three times to their bank in Reading to withdraw cash. On the last occasion the elderly resident was made to walk home from central Reading to Upper Caversham after the trader received the cash.

Following these reports Trading Standards are now urging residents to be extra vigilant in dealing with traders who call at the door, and to look out for elderly and vulnerable relatives and neighbours to ensure rogue traders do not try to take advantage.
Trading Standards advice:
" Never agree to have property maintenance or improvement work done by a cold caller.
" Always get several written quotes before agreeing to have work done.
" Never be pressurised into agreeing quickly by promises of lower prices.
" To find a reliable trader visit: or call Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06.

If you have any further concerns or wish to report any bogus traders please call the national Citizens Advice Consumer Service and details who will be passed through to the local Trading Standards service."