Warning for “cold callers” in Harlow

Communities / Wed 9th Dec 2015 at 01:17pm

“No cold caller” stickers are being distributed to vulnerable householders across Essex as part of a rogue trader campaign conducted by Essex County Council, Essex Police and Age UK Essex.

The stickers are the second phase of the Be Sure at the Door campaign, which aims to raise awareness of rogue traders.

Crime prevention officers, Age UK Essex community agents and some district council community support staff will be distributing the stickers to vulnerable householders.

The stickers are also available from libraries across Essex.

Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said: “Rogue traders cause misery wherever they go and leave heartbreak and chaos in their wake. They persuade householders to employ them to carry out work that they don’t need and then overcharge them, in some cases sucking them dry until their life savings are gone.

“We will not tolerate rogue traders in Essex. Householders should remember that they make the decision about who carries out work on their homes. You can find reputable traders through the Buy with Confidence scheme.”

Sgt Tina Pavelin, of Essex Police said: “ Don’t be embarrassed if you have been caught out by a rogue trader. Their methods of gaining your confidence can be very convincing. If a rogue trader won’t take no for an answer or you have been harassed into allowing them to start work and they are still at your house call 999.

“If a trader misleads you or behaves in an aggressive way, new consumer rights introduced on 1 October 2014 may enable you to undo the contract and get some or all of your money back and/or get compensation for your loss or distress. You may be able to do this where the trader’s practices or behaviour are misleading or aggressive and the trader’s actions played a significant part in your decision to buy from them.

“Remember, it’s your door, your house so your choice.”

Andrew Gardner, Chief Executive Age UK Essex “Age UK Essex often receives reports of vulnerable older people being victims of rogue traders. These traders often cold call and offer to carry-out repairs which are poor quality, unnecessary and charged at extortionate prices. We are so pleased to be part of a campaign which works to protect those most at risk from becoming victims of rogue traders and helping communities take control and help them feel empowered to say no to doorstep crime.”

Earlier in the year, fridge magnets with useful advice to avoid rogue traders were distributed across the county.

At the same time information about how to spot if vulnerable householders have become victims of rogue traders has been targeted at their family and friends.

Trading Standards approved tradespeople can be found at www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk or telephone 03454 040506. Report suspicious callers or activity to Trading Standards via the helpline on 08454 040506 or to Essex Police on 101. It is helpful to provide as many details as possible such as vehicle details, descriptions of people including accents, tattoos and height. Handle any leaflets given by suspicious cold callers carefully and call the police

For hints and tips about how to spot rogue traders search #BeSureAtTheDoor on social media.

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