Just say no to cold calling

Police, with ERC's trading standards teams, are cracking down on cold callers.
Police, with ERC's trading standards teams, are cracking down on cold callers.

Police Scotland, along with ERC’s trading standards, are stepping up the pressure on home maintenance fraudsters.

In concert they have approached workers throughout the region to provide advice, check for rogue trading practices and identify benefits fraudsters.

The environmental helth team has also been checking road side emissions to make sure the air quality is being maintained.

Inspector Alan Dickson, of East Renfrewshire’s community police, said “This joint initiative focuses on the itinerant rogue traders who target the residents of East Renfrewshire.

“My officers working alongside our coleagues in trading standards and the couter fraud team will do whatever we can to prosecute and ultimately prevent these people plying their trade in thise area.

“I would encourage all residents to display their No Cold Calling stickers. It’s important for people to remember that it is their doorstep and they have the right to say no to any goods or services being offered.”

Principal trading standards officer Steve Fox said: “We regularly deal with complaints, particularly the elderly, who have fallen victim to here-today-gone-tomorrow, rogue workmen who have carried out shoddy and overpriced work.

“We are delighted to assist in this operation.

“Education and enforcement is the key to preventing this type of fraud.

“We urge residents to follow our tips on employing tradesmen and put one of our No Cold Calling stickers on the door to avoid unwanted rogue traders.”

The stickers can be found in council office receptions, libraries and public swimming pools.

Further pointers from the council’s trading standard’s team are:

* hire a council-checked East Ren Trusted Trader from 08000 0130076 or find one at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/trustedtraders. You can even ask family and friends to recommend someone

* don’t employ workmen who chap your door uninvited

* get quotes detailing the work to be carried out

* don’t pay up front: it is reasonable to pay in stages or on completition of the job

* check if guarantees are insurance backed

* avoid paying cash: cheques give you proof of payment. Credit cards give you the added protection of claiming against the provider if the trader goes bust

* get a receipt

* don’t pay if you’re unhappy with the workmanship: trading standards may be able to put you in touch with an independent expert to examine the job

* the over-60s can contact Care and Repair Renfrewshire/East Renfrewshire — they carry out some minor repairs free of charge (call 0141 812 4111 for details)

* advice is available from Consumer Advice Scotland on 0845 040506

call Police Scotland on 101.