Ceredigion County Council is issuing a warning to residents to watch out for unscrupulous traders who may prey on them during bad weather.

The recent bout of bad weather has left many householders with damage to their properties.

Unfortunately, weather conditions like these present an opportunity for rogue traders to take advantage of many householders.

Rogue traders usually go door-to-door offering their services. People may be tempted by traders offering work that can begin immediately who quote low prices, but they may come to regret such a decision.

Rogue traders often inflate their charges after the work begins, and will attempt to threaten or intimidate householders if they refuse to pay. Work is generally done to a very poor standard, often leaving consumers to employ another trader to clear up the mess!

Rogue traders use false names and addresses so they can’t be easily traced when the work is completed, to a poor or unsafe standard.

Advice from Trading Standards

If your property has suffered any damage, Trading Standards offer the following precautionary advice before hiring a trader:

• Speak to your insurance company before engaging anyone to carry out repair work. Many insurance companies will have a list of reputable traders that can be called on.

• Never entertain any ‘traders’ that simply knock on your door.

• Use tradesmen recommended by friends and family

• Get at least 3 written quotes and ask for the details of at least three previous ‘local’ customers for you to contact.

• Always ask for a schedule of work in writing detailing the work and costs which should also include a 7 day cancellation notice.

• Look for a genuine address with a landline telephone number. Visit the trader’s premises if necessary.

Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards, Cllr Gethin James, said, “Rogue traders are opportunists and will see this as a chance to target not just vulnerable people but any householder that has been affected by the recent storms. We want people to be extra vigilant and report any rogue traders to the police and Trading Standards.”

Trading Standards staff are experienced in dealing with residents who have been targeted by these callers and would encourage anyone who has been targeted by any such cold callers to call the Trading Standards advice line (provided in partnership with the Citizens Advice Bureau) on 08454 040506 for advice, guidance and support. Call 08454 040505 to discuss your concerns in Welsh.