Repairing flood damage? Don’t be a victim twice
Cornwall Council Trading Standards are urging those whose homes have been affected by the floods to beware of rogue traders and cowboy builders looking to exploit the damage and devastation caused by the recent floods across the county.
Previous floods in the UK have attracted doorsteps fraudsters offering a range of flood recovery services and other assistance including tree chopping, garden clearance, guttering, tarmacing and roof cleaning. The results are always in poor quality work, disappearing cash deposits and charging for work not done.
Cornwall Trading Standards urge people to be on their guard at this difficult time and to follow five simple steps to avoid being caught out:
- Never deal with anyone who turns up at your door without an appointment.
- Ask for identification and get comprehensive contact details. A mobile telephone number is not good enough!
- Always make sure you get a written quote for any work to be carried out including written cancellation rights.
- Only pay after the work has been satisfactorily completed
- Check your chosen trader is approved by your insurance company
Nigel Strick, Fair Trading Manager said “We are worried that some of the more unscrupulous traders may try and take advantage of the victims of the recent flooding in Cornwall. We want to remind people to be careful with whom they contract with for their flood repairs. This is an upsetting time for all those who have suffered damage to their homes, and we don’t want anyone to be taken advantage of whilst in this vulnerable state.”
Councillor Lance Kennedy, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Community Safety, Public Protection and Waste Management, said "There are unfortunately people who prey on the misfortunes of others, don't become a victim of these cowboy con men. Make your own appointments with reputable tradesmen - if you didn't call them then don't use them. Genuine trades people will welcome your asking for references and identification, check them both carefully."
For further advice on choosing a reputable tradesman or for help with consumer disputes contact Citizens Advice Consumer Services on 08454 040506.
Story posted 27 November 2012