This year's National Consumer Week campaign aims to tackle rogue doorstep traders preying on the elderly and vulnerable by calling on the public to be 'good neighbours'.
‘Good neighbours stop rogue traders’, which runs from 3 to 7 November, is led by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards Board.
With as many as 170,000 incidents of doorstep crime occurring nationally each year, the campaign encourages neighbours, friends, families and carers to nominate themselves to discourage rogue traders.
These traders often cold call and offer to carry out repairs which are poor quality, unnecessary and charged at extortionate prices, sometimes even driving the victim to the bank to withdraw money or threatening them.
“This is a great campaign and a critically important message to drive home, particularly to younger homeowners as well as older people,” said Simon Ayers, chief executive of TrustMark, the government endorsed quality mark for tradesmen. “It’s disgraceful that some traders rip people off on their own doorstep. Not all doorstep sellers are bogus but homeowners need to be wary of people dropping in on them and offering special deals or telling them that their property is unsafe and needs urgent work.
“I would urge homeowners who are thinking of having any work carried out on their home or garden to onlyuse reputable firms they know or that can be properly checked out. And never be pressurised into making a decision on the spot – there’s nothing that can’t wait until you have had time to do some checks.
As well as checking a tradesman’s ID, it is as important to check exactly which trades a firm is registered for and is capable of delivering. Organisations like TrustMark signpost people to the trustworthy and reliable firms, with tradesmen who are properly vetted, insured and working to well-established government-endorsed standards.
For more information about Trading Standards National Consumer Week visit the Good neighbours stop rogue traders website.