Regional ‘OWL’ warning over rogue builders

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd

WARNINGS have been sounded over rogue traders striking in the region.

A rise in the number of complaints concerning roofing work has been reported, particularly in the Chirk area and mainly at the homes of elderly residents.

Victims could face a threat of potentially paying out for thousands of pounds if rogue traders manage to progress with their actions, it has been claimed.

A spokesman for the North Wales OWL scheme, led by police and neighbourhood watch representatives, said: “The trader cold calls at the property, usually of elderly people, and advises that there are a few loose tiles on the roof, which can be replaced for around £25.

“The consumer agrees for the work to go ahead and is given a contract with a notice that they wish for work to go ahead before their seven day cooling off period expires.

“After going onto the roof the trader then advises that further remedial work needs to be done on the property urgently to prevent any further damage to the roof.

“This often ends up in the price escalating into thousands of pounds. “

The spokesman added that as the consumer has agreed for the work to go ahead they may feel pressured into having the work done, as they are worried that they cannot cancel the contract and will have to pay the full amount.

But OWL say this is not the case.

Anyone who is worried about any issues raised, or believes they have any further information should contact Wrexham Trading Standards on 01978 292045 or police on 101.

The OWL scheme has issued advice to help potential victims be on guard.

This includes to be prepared and in control of the situation, as well as thinking about what to say to doorstep cold callers in advance.

The spokesman added: “Keep a list of key contact numbers near your phone so you can check out legitimate callers.

“Ask all other unwanted callers to go away.”

Chirk South councillor Terry Evans said: “I have not been made aware of any instances of rogue traders by residents in my ward. However, I would urge everyone to be on their guard.”

Anyone who is more than 60 years old and whose property is privately owned can seek independent advice regarding repairs, renovations and adaptations to their home from care and repair on 01978 268120.

See full story in the Leader

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