The OFT is today urging consumers, especially the elderly and
vulnerable, to be on their guard against rogue traders knocking at
Consumer Direct received more than 13,000 complaints about uninvited
traders and almost half of these complaints (5,718) related to home
five complaints about this group in 2010 were:
Roofing – 1725 (30%)
Tarmacing and paving – 1088 (19%)
Insulation – 663 (12%)
General building work – 573 (10%)
Burglar alarms – 348 (6%)
complaints about home maintenance peaking in the summer months from
July through to the autumn, the OFT is launching an awareness
campaign urging householders to be cautious and take time to think
about people who call at the door.
doorstep traders will often offer services at attractive rates and
use persuasive sales techniques to encourage people into making
Shambrook Deputy Operations Manager at Consumer Direct said:
"It is not illegal for handymen to canvas
for work, but it is important that people are cautious and do not
make hasty decisions. Rogue doorstep trading is an ongoing problem
in the UK and work or service carried out can sometimes be
unnecessary, of a poor standard, much more expensive than originally
quoted or not done at all.
"This campaign is helping people to
recognise the warning signs, so that they have the confidence to say
no if they’re unsure about what is being offered."
Chair of Neighbourhood and Home Watch for England & Wales said:
"We are supporting this campaign because
it’s important that people feel safe in their homes and understand
the tactics used by conmen.
"These types of rogue traders will try to
find common ground with a homeowner and use deceptive and misleading
claims. Some may falsely claim to be endorsed by a trade association
or a local council. It is important that people have the confidence
to say no to doorstep traders and take the time to think about the
service being offered."
offers the following advice on how people can avoid being scammed by
rogue doorstep traders:
trader knocks at your door do not agree to on the spot house
repairs, or sign anything on the spot.
of special offers or warnings that your house is unsafe.
make snap decisions. Take time to talk to someone you trust before
you make a decision.
doubt, call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or visit
August 2011 -
Peterborough UK Community Website