North East Lincolnshire Council’s trading standards team are warning people to be wary of doorstep callers offering to carry out work on their home or garden.
Trading standards officers have had nine complaints in the last three weeks from older people who’ve been targeted by rogue traders offering garden and tree surgery services.
Reports have come from the following wards: South, Scartho, East Marsh, Humberston and New Waltham and Heneage.
None of the callers were satisfied with the quality of work and many complained that what appeared to be a bargain price quoted on the doorstep quickly increased 10 fold once work started .
One person complained that the price quoted on the doorstep to cut back a tree was £85, but she ended up paying £1,300 when the work was done.
She felt obliged to pay and did not realise she had a choice not to pay a penny as the doorstep trader had not provided a Cancellation Notice in the correct format.
Councillor Hazel Chase, portfolio holder responsible for public protection at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Rogue traders are knocking on people’s doors and convincing them to have work done on their home that probably isn’t needed.
“Often they quote a cheap price at first but it quickly escalates once they start work and say more needs to be done.
“Their work is shoddy, they overcharge and give little or no paperwork. This can make it difficult to trace them when problems arise.
“Please share our warnings with elderly relatives, friends or neighbours who might fall foul of rogue traders, they prey on the most vulnerable.”
Trading standards manager Neil Clark added: “Never agree to having work done when you’re cold called.
“If a job does need doing, get at least three quotes from different tradespeople and take your time to make an informed decision.
“If you need advice on a doorstep traders or want to report a sighting of cold caller activity in your area, report it to trading standards via the National Citizens Advice Helpline on 03454 040506.”