Thousands of formal complaints are made about rogue traders each year. Property & Home shares advice on avoiding rogue traders and identifying the signs of a scam.
Whether you’re after some maintenance work or looking for a professional to insulate your windows or install a burglary alarm, finding a trustworthy tradesperson can seem daunting. Scam stories often dominate the media and some people in our communities, like the elderly, are statistically more at risk of being targeted than others. How can we best protect ourselves—and others—from rogue traders offering shoddy, dangerous and overpriced home maintenance jobs?
The first step in avoiding rogue traders is to gain enough confidence to say no to doorstep traders who show up uninvited and unannounced. They usually have no formal training or expertise to carry out the jobs they advertise, and may even be working with distraction burglars—who use diversions, such as a doorbell, to trick their way into people’s homes to steal their valuables. Doing your research, reading other people’s experiences on trusted online forums and relying on official governing bodies and associations will allow you to find reputable tradespeople with a history of good quality work—which will save you money and a great amount of stress in the long run. As a simple rule of thumb, you should always look for official business numbers, a business address and an official phone number.
See also: Interior Designs
Simple steps to avoid scams
• Do not hire someone who shows up at your door uninvited.
• Never go to a cash point with a trader.
• Do not agree on house repairs on the spot without having done your research.
• Be very wary of ‘special offers’ and warnings that your house may be unsafe.
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