Neighbourhood Watch is alerting residents in the Lympne area of Folkestone and Hythe to be vigilant regarding possible rogue traders offering to do work such repairing driveways, facias and soffits and charging significant disproportionate sums for doing so.

They are keen to hear from residents who are aware of any such activity and want to hear from anyone with information by calling 101 and quoting reference 29-0718.

Additional prevention advice :

Rogue Traders and Doorstep Crime

Each year, Trading Standards receive thousands of complaints about uninvited traders and a large majority of these relate to home maintenance work such as roofing, tarmacing and paving, garden and tree surgery, insulation, general building work, burglar alarms and other services.

Doorstep cold calling is not illegal; however, Trading Standards advice is to NEVER employ traders who call at your door.

The work or service offered can sometimes be unnecessary, overpriced, of a poor standard or not done at all. Typically they have no formal training to carry out the work offered and some may have links with distraction burglars.

Common reports include:

·       Taking a deposit and never returning to do the work.

·       Quoting a price and then increasing the cost as the job progresses

·       No statutory cancellation notices (cooling off period – see below), guarantees or warranties provided.

·       Produce poor quality work and refuse to sort out problems or finish the work.

Avoiding Rogue Traders Advice:

·       Be cautious; if a trader knocks at your door, do not agree to on-the-spot house repairs without taking advice. Say ‘no thank you’ and close the door.

·       Be wary of special offers. They will use tactics such as ‘I am only in your area today and would need to do the work now’.

·       Do not believe when told that guttering, roofing, gardening or paving work is in need of urgent repair – this may cause you to panic and allow the work to take place.

·       Don’t allow anyone to pressure you into agreeing to have work carried out. If you ask them to leave and they don’t, they are committing a criminal offence – contact the police on 999.

·       Do not make snap decisions. If you feel that any work needs carrying out on your property, take time to talk to family or neighbours before you make a decision.

·       Don’t ever go to a bank or cash point with a trader; legitimate traders would never do this!

By Ed

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