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Don’t Let Rogue Roofers Take Advantage

Dorset residents are being advised to be wary of opportunist tradesmen looking to cash in on this weeks high winds and bad weather.

Poole Trading Standards officers fear the bad weather the region has experienced this week could led to dishonest doorstep tradesmen persuading householders that they need unnecessary work done to their property or taking advantage of them if they do need urgent repairs.

Officers are advising the public not to sign up to any work on the doorstep, no matter how urgent the trader says the work is. Residents are reminded to be on their guard for unsolicited rogue roofers or tree surgeons offering their services in the clear up from the storm.

Andy Shimmen, Trading Standards Officer, Borough of Poole, said: "Experience tells us that there’s an increased risk that opportunist rogue traders will use the aftermath of severe weather like we have been experiencing to dupe residents into agreeing to work that may not be needed or is vastly expensive and poorly done. We know that a common tactic is to show householders a roof tile that the rogue trader claims they have found in the garden and offer to replace it for what seems a reasonable amount. Unfortunately they soon start ramping up the pressure to agree to more and more expensive repairs and the roof tile may not even have come from the property in the first place."

Cllr Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Borough of Poole, siad: "We believe that most traders will not try to exploit the situation to their advantage but our advice is never to agree to any work on the doorstep no matter how urgent the trader says the repair is. Anyone who is approached by workmen offering roofing, gardening or fencing work in the clean up to the storm who they feel is suspicious should politely refuse. However, we would ask they make a note of any vehicle details, take a description of the workmen and let trading standards know on 08454 040506 so they can follow it up. Residents might also want to keep an eye out for any elderly or vulnerable neighbours as they are particular at risk from rogue traders at this time."

The council would recommend that anyone requiring work uses a Trading Standards approved company signed up to the Buy With Confidence scheme. More information can be found at boroughofpoole.com/buywithconfidence