With summer approaching, it is prime time for an increase in complaints about doorstep rogue traders and we are urging Derbyshire residents to be cautious.
Many doorstep traders are legitimate, but unfortunately some are not. Rogue traders may use pressure selling tactics to convince people into handing over money for a service that either does not take place, or is not done to the correct standard. These so-called ‘traders’ often try to take advantage of the elderly and vulnerable individuals in our community, though anyone can fall for these scams.
Here are ten tips to help protect yourselves and your family members from rogue traders:
Take your time before you sign
Don’t feel pressured into making an agreement on the spot. If you’re interested in what they are selling, you can ask them to come back at another time that is more convenient for you, or maybe when you have someone else with you. This can also allow more time to compare quotes and do your research.
Check the trader’s identity
Always ask to see an ID card and look up the organisation to check the salesperson’s identity is genuine. Ensure the trader is a member of a reputable trade body.
Be cautious of special offers or warnings about your home
Be wary of high-pressure selling techniques. Don’t let them hurry you into a decision, even if there is a discount. The discount might be too high in price in the first place.
Compare prices with other companies offering the same product first. Try to get three quotes prior to signing any agreement.
Read the small print
Always read documents carefully before signing an agreement and make sure you fully understand your rights.
Do your research
Make sure you understand the total costs of the transaction – including estimates, delivery and installation and the arrangements for after-sales servicing, such as the guarantees or warranties.
Get a second opinion
Before signing anything, talk to someone you trust – for example a family member, a friend or carer.
Do not hand over a cash deposit
Do not hand over money before work is started. A reliable trader will never ask you to do this, even if they need materials. Never agree to go with a trader to the bank to take money out.
Think carefully before agreeing to a trader starting immediate work
If you agree to have any work done or goods delivered within the seven-day cooling-off period, you may have to pay if you later change your mind and try to cancel the contract.
Trust your instincts
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Remember it’s your doorstep and your decision. If you feel pressured ask the person to leave.
It’s OK to say no.
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Twitter– direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact