Doorstep callers warning

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The council’s trading standards department is again warning people to beware of doorstep callers offering outdoor cleaning and other home improvements and repairs, and also generators and power tools.

This follows concerns raised by a householder who was put under pressure to have work done and offered a discount on the originally quoted price.

Trading standards chief David Marsh said: “You should never agree to work being done when pressurised with such urgency – take your time before deciding to get any work done. If you really want the work done, get it detailed in writing along with the price and name of the person and business you are making a contract with.

“Householders can feel intimidated and agree to the work, then have to deal with demands for payment in cash.

“If things go wrong, it can be very difficult to get them sorted out if the trader is no longer in Shetland – and virtually impossible if you’ve no way of contacting them.”

He said that the law requires door-to-door sales people to give you a notice detailing your cancellation rights, the length of the cooling-off period within which you can cancel, and information on how you can cancel the contract.

He added: “All too often, though, rogue traders turn up at folk’s homes causing stress, worry and havoc for some of our most vulnerable householders and then disappear without leaving so much as a name or address.

“Our advice is that if you need work doing, ask friends and neighbours for recommendations of reputable trades people and get a written quote from more than one before deciding to have any expensive home improvements done.”

To deter rogue or uninvited traders, window stickers have been proved to be effective, especially when neighbouring homes also display them. These are available in “No uninvited sales people” packs from trading standards.

The department can also provide cards to give to callers which state: “I DO NOT want you to call at my home – If you persist, you will be reported to the police and trading standards.”

These may be picked up from trading standards on the ground floor at Charlotte House, or call (01595) 744887 to get some sent out to you.

About Rosalind Griffiths

I am a Shetland Times reporter covering news, including health stories, and features. I have been in Shetland for more than 30 years.

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