By Democrat reporter
Local people are being warned that traders are cold calling at homes offering to carry out improvement work to the exterior of houses.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Trading Standards team has had recent reports of tradesmen in the area offering to do the work and insisting that householders sign a contract there and then.
The advice is you could end up badly out of pocket, paying over the odds for work.
Policy Lead for Planning Services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said: “Take our advice and also be aware of the law.
“We’ve all heard stories of people being ripped off to the tune of thousands by rogue traders, be it for roof work that is shoddy or driveways that are never laid or cost thousands more than the original price quoted.
“Don’t fall victim. If traders won’t follow the rules, it isn’t worth taking the chance. You could end up spending thousands for nothing with the added stress that brings.”
Trading Standards advise that before carrying out any work at your property, a trader must provide you with written details that include the name and address of the trader, the price and details of the work involved.
You must be given, in writing, a 14-day cooling-off period so you can change your mind and cancel the work if you wish to do so. The trader must not start work before the 14 days unless you have given your written permission to do so.
If you do take up an offer from a cold caller, make sure they provide these written requirements in full and are willing to wait until that cooling-off period has ended.
Residents should also be aware that if you ask the person to leave your property they must do so immediately.
Aggressive sales tactics, harassment and coercion are prohibited by law.
You are not obliged to pay any amount of money before work is carried out.
If you feel threatened or suspect the person may be a rogue trader, call Police Scotland on 101 immediately. If you believe you have been the victim of doorstep crime, don’t be embarrassed to report it and call the police.
For more information on your rights on unexpected callers, contact the council’s Trading Standards team on 01546 605519.