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Rogue traders caught in the act

Published Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Enfield Council and Metropolitan Police officers caught con men in the process of ripping off a 59-year-old man during an operation to tackle rogue traders earlier this month (September 4).

The Palmers Green resident had agreed to pay £6,000 to a company for a new kitchen to be installed after being cold called but had not been provided with any paperwork or a cancellation notice
The trader originally agreed for the buyer to pay after the work was completed but within days he had been persuaded to pay £1,500 and was in the process of handing over another £1,000 when trading standards officers from Enfield Council intervened and sent the trader away empty handed because the contract was unenforceable.
The work carried out was of a poor standard, included the installation of a light socket above a sink and the made to order “luxury” kitchen units the resident had chosen were actually selected from an off the shelf bargain line at a nearby DIY store
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “We will not tolerate rogue traders trying to rip off our residents and we’ll intervene wherever necessary to protect the public from shady business practices.
“I’m delighted our trading standards officers were able to intervene in this case and prevent rogue traders from conning money out of a resident after carrying out poor quality and over-priced work on his property.”
Residents can protect themselves from rogue traders by:
•Get a security chain fixed to your door and use it when answering
•Check the identity of the caller by asking to see an identity card and checking the telephone number in your own directory
•Consider if you really need the work done - shop around for the best deal, where possible using a trader from the Trading Standards Buy with Confidence scheme or using a trader recommended to you (get three quotes to make sure you are being quoted a fair price)
•Insist that you are given the quote in writing
•Ask the caller to leave you with information to study at your leisure
•Don't let them into your home (no matter how friendly they seem) and don't be tempted by 'today only' offers (this is pressure selling)
•Remember that if you buy something for £35 or more you have seven days to cancel by writing to the trader (even if the work has started)
For more information about buying from doorstep trades people go to the Citizens Advice Bureau website.

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