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Rogue traders warning

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Residents are being urged to be on their guard this summer against rogue traders after a pair of gardeners targeted a home.

Dudley Council trading standards team say people should never buy good or services over the door.

It follows a report of some rogue traders who visited a home in Kingswinford recently offering gardening services.

Two men in a white van offered to cut down a bush in the front garden before charging them £250 for 15 minutes work.

One of the males followed the resident into their house as they went to look for money to pay. But when the resident did not have enough money in their house the males took them to the bank in their vehicle so that they could pay them.

To make matters worse, the men had only cut down the bush and left the roots and returned a couple of days later and charged the resident another £150 to remove the roots.

The council produces a directory of reputable traders called Fix-A-Home packed full of services.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said:

This incident must have been very upsetting for the people involved, and we do all we can to highlight these cases to protect others.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to be vigilant and not buy goods or services over the doorstep. Reputable workers will not go door to door touting for business and will always give a customer a written quote. They should also outline the customer’s rights of cancellation for any work over the value of £42 before starting the work.
And certainly, a reputable trader will never, ever follow people into their homes while they look for money or take a consumer to the bank to get money to pay them.

Any suspicious callers, going door-to-door, offering to carry out any sort of gardening or property maintenance should be reported immediately to the Bogus Caller Hotline on 01384 812045.

The Fix-a-Home booklet can be found at www.dudley.gov.uk/fix-a-home

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