DON’T BE A VICTIM AS CONMEN STRIKE AFTER STORM DAMAGE

BOGUS workmen have struck following the recent storm which battered Bearsden and Milngavie.

East Dunbartonshire Trading Standards confirmed there have been several cases of dodgy cold callers doing the rounds as people clean up after the gales.

Last week police put out a warning asking people to beware conmen - and council officials said there have been instances of rogue traders attempting to foist unnecessary property repairs on people or forcing them to pay excessive sums for necessary repairs.

A Trading Standards spokeswoman said: “There have already been some reports of rogue traders making unsolicited approaches to local residents in an attempt to persuade them to agree to unnecessary property repairs or to pay excessive sums for necessary repairs to damaged property.

“We would remind everyone of their right to a seven day cancellation period when a contract is being concluded in their home. The trader is not allowed to commence work within this period, unless they have specific authorisation from you to conduct the work within the seven day cancellation period. The initial right to cancel should be notified to you by the trader, in writing.

Cancel

“If a trader commences work within the seven day cancellation period or they do not notify you of your right to cancel in writing then please let Trading Standards know.

“The major points to note when contracting with someone to conduct work on your home are to check to ensure they are members of a trade association, check if the trader has insurance covering damage to both your property and neighbouring properties, ensure that you get a receipt for any payment made, keep all documents that relate to the work, make sure you get full details of the trader, including name and address as without this you will find it difficult to take legal action in the event of a dispute and confirm the identity of anyone calling at your door, and confirm their identity with the organisation they represent. If you are in any doubt close the door.

“Also, do not feel pressurised into getting work done, these people are not your friends and are being paid for being there, if you are feeling intimidated or pressurised please call Trading Standards. Don’t agree to have work done by people who call at your home uninvited advising that they are in the area today or tomorrow only and do not accept any offer from the trader to give you a lift to the bank to withdraw money in order to pay him cash for work he has carried out.”

She added: “If you are cold called by anyone advising that you require work to be conducted on your property, never take their word for it. If you have concerns that the work is required then obtain at least three opinions on whether the work is necessary and obtain at least three quotes on the costs involved in having the work conducted.”

Councillor Amanda Stewart, convener of housing and community services, said: “It’s a sad fact of life that some people will always try to profit from the misery of others. There has been a significant amount of damage to property in the area as a result of the recent storms. It is therefore imperative that consumers are vigilant and follow the guidance in this article in order to avoid being victims of bogus workmen.

“It is extremely important that you ask traders for all information in writing, as reputable traders should not have a problem with this request and you should not allow yourself to be badgered into paying for anything in cash, especially not until the job is complete.”

If you have any doubts about anyone who calls at your home or who is working at your home contact East Dunbartonshire Council Trading Standards Department on 0141 578 8813 or the police for further assistance.