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Trading Standards

Winter warning

Trading Standards in East Renfrewshire are warning residents to ask details of call out charges and hourly rates when phoning for emergency repairs.

Hidden charges

Complaints about hidden charges and shocking bills are common, particularly in the colder months.

Paul Holland (Senior Trading Standards Officer) advises "Charges for emergency repairs such as plumbing work can be exorbitant, particularly at the weekend. It is essential that you ask details of the call out charges and the hourly rate to prevent an unexpected hefty bill. You can end up paying hundreds of pounds for a couple of hours work. Know where your stop cock is located and turn off the water supply to minimise damage and give you the time to get a reasonably priced repair from a local tradesman with a good reputation. I would strongly advise that you keep a list of recommended tradesmen handy and a list of emergency contacts, it could save you a lot of money and stress when things go wrong. The list should at least include the following":

Emergency

  • National Grid Gas Emergencies (Gas Leaks) 0800 111999
  • Scottish Water - Emergency Helpline 0845 6008855
  • Out of Hours plumber, glazer, joiner (check all charges in advance)
  • Numbers for any Insurance Home Cover Policies

General

  • Plumber
  • Central Heating Engineer
  • Roofer
  • Electrician
  • Joiner/Glazer
  • Mechanic

Do

  •  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
  • 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 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

  • 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.

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