Beware Cold Snap Rogue Traders Operating

Trading standards officers are warning householders to be on their guard

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Residents are being alerted to the possibility of cowboy builders, roofers and plumbers trying to take advantage of the recent snow and ice to fleece unsuspecting homeowners.

With legitimate businesses working at full capacity over the coming days carrying out repairs to roofs, gutters, hot water boilers and heating systems, trading standards officers are concerned that dishonest traders will take advantage of people’s desperation to rip them off.

Residents are therefore being advised to be wary of any trades people who cold call and offer to do fast repairs.

The council’s consumer protection spokesman Cllr Sarah McDermott said:
“It is never advisable for homeowners to agree to any work being carried out by workers who tout for business and call at the door unannounced.  Even though we understand some people will be looking for tradesmen to carry out repairs we would urge them to be very careful about who they employ and to be extra vigilant about doorstep sellers.”

Trading standards officers recommend getting written quotations from reputable businesses before agreeing to any work along with a detailed specification of the works needed. 

People should never pay money in advance until the work is completed and they are satisfied with the work done.

It is also worth asking friends and relatives for recommendations, also on our website check out who others members recommend, also check for reputable tradespeople with consumer protection organisations such as Trustmark and Checkatrade.

To obtain a list of approved traders in your area visit or call 01344 630804.  Alternatively visit or call 0845 408 4866.

Anyone wishing to report a suspicious trader in the borough can call Wandsworth’s trading standards team on (020) 8871 5863.

December 10, 2010