Rip off storm damage repairs alert
East Renfrewshire Council's trading standards team is warning residents not to fall victim to 'here today, gone tomorrow' rip off merchants following an increase in complaints after the recent storms.
Senior trading standards officer Paul Holland said: "There is no doubt that roofers will be in short supply due to the levels of damage. However, please don't be tempted to employ an unknown workman who knocks on your door offering to do repairs. Rarely is the work carried out by such individuals of any quality or value.
"The elderly in particular are targeted and we regularly deal with complaints where vast sums of money have been paid for worthless, substandard work."
Police and trading standards officers rapidly respond when notified of complaints of this nature. In addition community wardens provide valuable 'eyes and ears' assistance by monitoring suspicious activity on the streets.
Follow trading standards Do's and Don'ts and it should help you get a decent tradesmen.
· Ask friends and family for recommendations.
· Get quotes detailing the work to be carried out as well as the cost.
· Make sure you know who you are dealing with, you should have the full business details including name, address and contact details.
· Check if guarantees are insurance backed.
· Avoid paying cash, cheques give you proof of payment, credit cards give you the added protection of claiming against the provider if the trader goes bust.
· Get receipts.
· If you don't know the trader and can't get recommended traders look for someone who is a member of an Office of Fair Trading approved trade association scheme contact 0845 7224499 or www.oft.gov.uk
· Over 60's can contact Care and Repair Renfrewshire to enquire about their Small Repairs Service they also have a list of established traders 0141 812 4111.
· Contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 if you wish to make a complaint/get consumer advice.
· Contact Ring and Report If you suspect a fraudulent workmen is operating in East Renfrewshire note the registration number of the van and any other details and Ring and Report on 0800 0130076.
· Don't employ workmen who chap your door or deliver leaflets unless you check their trading background. Make sure you have an address and a land line number.
· Don't pay up front. It is reasonable to pay in stages or on completion of the job.
· Don't pay if you are unhappy with the workmanship, Trading Standards may be able to put you in touch with an independent expert to examine the job.