Doorstep crime and rogue traders

Rogue traders can affect anyone, but often elderly and vulnerable people are targeted by rogue traders offering home improvement services.

Callers may offer services such as window/gutter cleaning, path and driveway repairs, roofing or building work, gardening and tree maintenance. They often come across as being likeable pleasant individuals, but who quickly become forceful and very persuasive once they start their sales pitch. Scare tactics about leaking gutters causing damp and roots of trees damaging foundations are often used and it can be very easy to be taken in by such people.

Traders must provide you with specific information about your rights when buying goods and services in your own home, this may form part of the quotation or invoice, but must be given to you prior to the work commencing. 

  • You must be given a written notice explaining that you have the right to a 14 day cooling off period, the notice must also be dated, contain the name and address of the trader and be easily legible.
  • The document must also contain a detachable slip which is your cancellation form, you can complete this and send to the trader to effect the cancellation.

Failure to provide this information is a criminal Offence and can render the contract unenforceable against you.

How can I report a rogue trader?

You can report a suspected rogue trader by calling the police on 101 or if a rogue trader has taken money from you, is in your home or still in the local area, you should phone 999. Even if a cold caller leaves your doorstep, it doesn’t mean that they won’t target others so don't be afraid to report anyone who you think is suspicious to the police.

Advice

It’s a simple message: “If in doubt, keep them out” and remember that genuine callers will not mind waiting while you check their information.
You can find more information by contacting a member of your local Neighbourhood Policing Team or by visiting the Wales Heads of Trading Standards website.