Most people who come to your door are genuine and many of them will be expected and welcome visitors. However, you may sometimes be faced with unwanted callers or traders and worry about how to deal with them.
By taking simple steps we can protect our homes and valuables and avoid becoming a victim of doorstep crime.
Rogue traders may:
- Charge unreasonable prices
- Take deposits and not return to do the work
- Do a poor job
- Not give you information on your right to cancel work if you change your mind
- Take you to your banks or building societies to withdraw money to pay for the work
- Refuse to sort out problems
- Offer no guarantees or warranties.
If you are not expecting a visitor it is best to take simple precautions:
- Are you able to look through a spy hole or window to see who it is?
- Close and lock your back door before opening the front door.
- Even if you are expecting someone use your door chain or bar if you have one.
- Don’t be embarrassed, ask for their Identity card and check it carefully. Genuine visitors won’t mind if you close the door while you do this.
- Never use the telephone number the caller may give you to check their identity – always look up their number in your phone directory.
- Never buy goods from people calling unexpectedly or unannounced at your door.
- If the caller is offering work on your house or garden tell them you are not interested and ask them to leave.
- If they say they have done work for you in the past don’t assume they are genuine traders,
- Never allow any callers or workmen to take you to the bank, building society or Post Office,
- Remember these callers can be pleasant and persuasive – if you are in control you won’t be fooled.
If you need work doing on your property
- Take advice from family, friends or reputable traders
- Always get at least 3 quotes and make sure the quote you accept is in writing
If someone has called at your home uninvited and carried out work that you are unhappy or worried about, or if you want to report an incident contact Trading Standards or call the police on 101
If you can, try and give as much information as possible including:
- The name of the trader or company
- Any names or telephone numbers they gave
- Registration number and descriptions of any vehicles they used
- A description of the traders- how many were there? What did they look like? What were they wearing? Any other information – did they have local accents?
- Details of any paperwork.