Warning over rogue traders

RESIDENTS are being warned to be wary of doorstep ‘cowboys’ in the wake of damage left by the storm which battered the county.

East Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards team is warning people not to be taken in by unscrupulous traders who may try and profit from damage caused by winds of up to 80mph.

Householders are urged not to allow themselves to be rushed by cold callers into making a hasty decision about repairs to fallen trees, damaged roofs and broken fences. They are advised to use a door chain or window to talk to people they don’t recognise, check the identity of any business person coming to the door and where possible use a reliable local trader, preferably one belonging to the council’s Buy With Confidence scheme.

James Harris, county council acting director of economy, said: “If people were unfortunate enough to have damage caused to their property during the storm, the last thing they need is to have the problem compounded by falling victim to unscrupulous traders. It’s tempting to go for a ‘quick fix’ offered by a caller at the door, but people should resist the temptation to be rushed or pressured into making a decision.”

Rogue cold callers may overcharge by giving misleading information about the value of work or charging a higher price than agreed, carry out unnecessary work, provide poor quality goods, materials or services or ignore phone calls if something goes wrong.

More details from www.eastsussex.gov.uk/buywithconfidence. Call 01323 463440 for a free copy of the Buy With Confidence directory.