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Beware of rogue traders in Preston after Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis

Posted on - 17th February, 2020 - 6:33pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, Preston weather
Flooding from Storm Ciara Pic: Stephen Melling

Preston residents are being warned to beware of rogue traders following disastrous storms that have hit the country over the past fortnight.

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After being hit by Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis during the past two weekends, many residents will have to make repairs to their properties.

This type of weather can lead homeowners to receive calls from bogus traders, cold-calling householders with offers to repair roofs, gutters and remove fallen trees.

These calls are often used to pray on vulnerable householders with the work being offered usually being overpriced, unnecessary and unsafe.

Read More: Roads closed, fields flooded and a cancelled concert – Storm Ciara takes its toll on Preston

Trading Standards advice is to always say no to cold-callers with people urged to use the county councils Safe Trader Scheme to find reputable traders to complete any necessary work.

County Councillor Albert Atkinson, cabinet member for technical services, rural affairs and waste, said: “It’s highly likely that rogue traders will be out and about following the storms this week.

“They’ll try every trick in the book and can charge a fortune for work that simply isn’t needed.

“They are most likely to cold call and target elderly and vulnerable people.

“Once you start speaking to them, they will often point out a fairly minor repair job.

“When you let them into your property, this will escalate into an expensive list of jobs that just aren’t needed.

“If you think work needs to be done because of storm damage, check with your insurance company first.

“If you need a trader, use our Safe Trader scheme, get quotes from two or three local businesses or ask friends and relatives to recommend a reputable business.

“We’d always advise you say no to cold callers and report anyone who is using pushy or aggressive sales tactics to us via the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Helpline.”

Read More: Miller Park rescue underway as cyclist becomes stranded under bandstand

Trading Standards is offering the following advice to householders who believe that they have had damage caused to their property as a result of the bad weather:

  • Never do business with an unknown trader who cold calls at your house.
  • Always make an initial check with your insurance company to see if they have a procedure for dealing with storm damage. This may include only using authorised traders to carry out the repairs.
  • Where immediate repairs are necessary, use well established businesses who have fixed premises and landline numbers (not mobile phones).
  • Go by personal recommendation wherever possible.
  • Use traders who are members of the Safe Trader Scheme.
  • Get quotes from several different traders for the cost of the work.
  • Ensure that you obtain clear quotes before work is carried out and receipts afterwards for all work carried out.
  • Pay by cheque or credit card and do not give cash sums in advance to unknown traders.

To find a trader on Lancashire County Council’s Safe Trader scheme call 0303 333 11 11 or visit www.safetrader.org.uk.

Anyone concerned about bogus property repairers can call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 for further advice.

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