If you are concerned about an agreement you have entered into with a trader to have work done on your house or garden, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline:
If necessary, your call will be referred to us and we will deal with it promptly.
If you feel intimidated or frightened by a trader you should dial 999.
Be wary if someone knocks on your door and tells you they have noticed a problem with your property (for example tiles missing on the roof) and then offers to fix it for you. We would always advise you to get another opinion before agreeing to have work done.
About rogue traders
We are increasingly dealing with complaints from residents who have been targeted by unscrupulous traders offering to do work on their properties. Typical jobs carried out tend to be roofing repairs, paving of driveways and general maintenance. However, the work is of a poor standard and usually has some or all of the following features:
- Work is started before agreement is reached
- No documentation is provided
- False or no information is given about who owns the business and where it is based so the traders are difficult to contact if there is a problem
- Work done is shoddy or not completed
- The price escalates
- The traders may become aggressive and intimidating
What you can do
If you are looking for someone to carry out improvements or repairs on your home, you can get good advice on finding a reputable trader from the Trust Mark website, the Buy with Confidence website, Which? Trusted Traders or the Citizens Advice website.
What we do
We carry out routine patrols with the Safer Neighbourhood Police teams where we talk to traders who are working on residential properties. We make sure they are working within the law and we give them advice on their responsibilities towards their customers. We also make sure that householders are happy with the work that is going on and that they have all the relevant paperwork. If we feel a trader has acted fraudulently we will consider prosecuting them.
We give talks to community groups to make them aware of the problems that can arise when dealing with doorstep traders. If you would like to book a talk, please complete our Educational Talks: Request Form
If your business is based in the borough and you need advice on doorstep selling or other consumer and fair trading matters, you can contact us directly at email@example.com. You can also visit the Business Companion website which covers all major Trading Standards legislation.
For comprehensive and up to date guidance on how to deal with customer complaints, refunds and returns visit the Business Companion website. All the training and promotional materials provided are available to access online or to download in a variety of formats.
The Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc. Regulations 2008 gives consumers a 7-day cooling off period for contracts they have entered into at their home or place of work. These Regulations apply whether the consumer contacted the trader or they have cold called. It is a criminal offence for traders not to give consumers a standard written notice of these rights.
Traders must give their details and an address for the business on any quote, estimate or receipt. There are further requirements for limited companies under the Companies Act 2006. This is so that if a consumer has a complaint they know who the trader is and where they can contact them. Failure to provide these details is a criminal offence.
The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 prohibit unfair and/or aggressive trading practices. See our fair trading page for more information.
Merton Civic Centre
Tel: 020 8545 3025
The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues. Visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.