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Trading Standards tackle rogue traders

Published: 15/04/2014

As part of National Rogue Trader week, Trading Standards Officers across North Wales have been out patrolling the region on the look out for rogue traders operating in the area. With the help of North Wales Police, officers were looking for offences relating to consumers’ cancellation rights, aggressive selling techniques and unnecessary work linked to “cold calling”. Traders were also given advice as to their legal obligations. On Wednesday, as part of the national “Day of Action”, officers from across the region spoke to over 70 traders offering them advice and guidance. In one incident, a trader was found to have started work without giving the householder the necessary details on cancellation rights and, after intervention by officers, decided to leave without completing the work agreed. A closer inspection indicated that the work done was substandard. Additionally, officers were on hand at a variety of events held all over North Wales during the week to provide advice and guidance to local residents on dealing with cold callers. One of the major issues identified by officers is that many residents do not report the activities of “Rogue Traders”. Kevin Jones, Wrexhams Principal Manager for Trading Standards and Chair of the North Wales Heads of Trading Standards group is urging residents to be aware and to tell the authorities if rogue traders cold call in their area offering to do gardening, tree cutting, tarmacing, roof repairs and general odd jobs. He said: These traders can do a poor job and subsequently charge over the odds for that work, ask for cash and then simply disappear. They are usually untraceable when things go wrong as they give false names, addresses and phone numbers. Whilst not all doorstep traders are ‘rogues’, many are completely legitimate and provide a good level of service, there are some who prey on the elderly or vulnerable members of society. Emlyn Jones, Denbighshire’s Public Protection Manager and part of the North Wales Heads of Public Protection Group said: Officers from each local authority have been speaking to people all across North Wales. We hope that those individuals will not only follow the simple rules when dealing with cold callers but also spread the message to their neighbours and family. No cold calling zones are a good way of discouraging traders from operating in certain areas as any trader cold calling in No Cold Calling Zone could be committing an offence. Anybody wanting more information about cold calling zones should contact their local Trading Standards office via the Citizens Advice Customer Service on 08454 04 05 06 or for the Welsh Language Service 08454 04 05 05 or the local Neighbourhood Watch coordinator. Julie Sheard , Community Safety Inspector for North Wales Police added: If in doubt, keep them out is the simple message to remember when somebody knocks at your door. If you are concerned about anybody in your neighbourhood ‘knocking’ on the door offering to carry out home maintenance work, then please make a note of vehicle make, model, colour and registration number and any descriptions of the individuals, and contact either the police on 101 or Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Customer Service or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you feel intimidated or threatened by any doorstep seller you should shut the door and call the police emergency number 999. North Wales Police will continue to work closely in partnership with Trading Standards across North Wales to address this type of criminal behaviour which is simply unacceptable.