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Rogue Traders - recent experience for woman in Warwick

A Warwick woman shares her experience of recent attempt by rogue traders to scam her:

Last week I had the misfortune to be taken in by such persons. A man claiming to be a 'roofer' knocked on my door and informed me that whilst he was working on an adjoining property he had noticed that there were loose ridge tiles on my roof and he could fix these for me. As he was working next door I believed he was a legitimate tradesman and agreed to have the work done. In addition he would fit plastic end caps on the gables.

Over the following three days it became apparent to me that these two men were rogues as they clearly did not know what they were doing in terms of mending roofs and fitting a plastic end cap system correctly. Claims that my roof was in a very poor state became increasingly exaggerated to the point I was told my roof was in danger of collapsing due to rotten timbers, broken tiles and perished roofing felt. Quotes for putting all this right were wildly inflated and varied in one conversation from £3250 to £9000. When challenged on this, the man became very agitated, continuing to try and scaremonger on the dangers I would face if I did not agree for the extra work to be carried out. By now my roof was exposed to the elements, sound soffits had been wantonly damaged and there was mess everywhere. It would be easy to see why someone could agree for them to continue.

Realising I had fallen prey to a scam I phoned Trading Standards for advice. They reacted very promptly. Coming out to my house whilst the two men were present and serving them a notice to leave my property and to not return for any reason.

The Warwickshire Trading Standards Officer explained to me the situation with regards to legislation. In this case the Consumer Contracts Regulations.

  • The rogue traders had committed offences under this legislation by not providing any written information on the work purported to need doing or a written quote. In addition they had not explained to me that I had a 14 day cooling off period should I change my mind on having the work done.

  • They had broken the law by not using scaffolding whilst working on the roof.

  • They had caused criminal damage to my property.
     

The whole experience was deeply upsetting. I felt very vulnerable, anxious and embarrassed that I had been taken in by these plausible but untrustworthy and unscrupulous characters.

Positives to be taken from the situation.

  • I did not hand over any money to these people. I have learnt more about how Trading Standards operate and a little about consumer law.

  • I am now aware of a service called No Rogue Traders Here https://www.noroguetradershere.com/ run by Birmingham City Council Trading Standards Department. As a result I have a reputable roofing company lined up to make good the damage done.
     

Trust your instincts. These rogues can be persuasive and intimidating. If a similar situation occurs to you, a relative, friend or neighbour ask for help.

 

Posted on behalf of Warwick Central SNT

Published 30/11/18