Nottinghamshire residents are being warned not to buy from doorstep
traders over the summer period following 201 complaints
received by the County
Council’s Trading Standards team in the last 12 months.
Summer Doorstep Selling campaign
In a push to protect the vulnerable the Council is joining forces with
the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) Summer Doorstep Selling campaign, empowering
local residents to deal with untoward doorstep sellers.
Elderly at risk
Research conducted on behalf of the OFT highlights the elderly as being
particularly at risk of doorstep selling scams. One in five people over the age
of 70 who were interviewed admitted to not being confident in deciding whether
to employ a tradesperson and a fifth of those questioned could not see through
pressure sales tactics such as having to pay cash in advance or having to make
a quick decision to get a good deal.
The Council’s Trading Standards team is currently dealing with 10
complaints involving a doorstep trader who has been carrying out poor quality
building works mainly in the Ashfield area.
The trader tends to ask for cash in hand
with only a verbal agreement,
which makes it difficult to prove that the consumer has been ripped off. He
also encourages people to have other jobs carried out around their homes and is
threatening when people complain about the quality of his work.
One Ashfield resident who used the company and wishes to remain
anonymous said: “They laid my driveway and I thought I was dealing with
professionals as their vehicles were sign written, they had proper flyers
printed up with a local address and even had a tick list on a worksheet.
“Although he claimed that I wouldn’t have to pay till I was completely
satisfied I was verbally bullied
into making payments shortly after he started
the work. I ended up paying over £3,000 when the work was nowhere near complete.
“I have since had an expert tell me that the materials they used were
wrong and there are no real foundations to the drive.
"I have been really badly affected by these people, I’ve lost money and
have been really worried."
Councillor Mick Murphy, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s
Community Safety Committee, said: “Our advice on doorstep traders is simple –
do not buy from them and don’t be afraid to say no
. Many doorstep traders can
be unscrupulous and use a range of persuasive tactics to sell seemingly
irresistible offers to unsuspecting and often vulnerable people in their homes.
Get everything in writing
“Casual cash payments is a particular problem we have with rogue traders
as the lack of written evidence makes it very difficult to prove wrong doings,
so we urge people to get everything in writing before paying for work around
For more advice or information visit www.adviceguide.org.uk
or call the
Citizens Advice consumer helpline on tel:
08454 04 05 06.
Buy with Confidence
The Council’s Buy with Confidence directory has local 370 traders which
have been vetted and approved by local Trading Standards officers. For more
information visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk
or phone Citizen’s Advice consumer service on tel:
08454 04 05 06.