Beat the rogues
HELENSBURGH and Lomond's MSP Jackie Baillie is urging people to help combat rogue doorstep traders offering home improvements and maintenance work, in order to support the local economy and protect consumer rights.
Figures released by the Office of Fair Trading show that home improvements continue to top the list of complaints about doorstep rogue traders.
Last year, Consumer Direct received more than 13,000 complaints about uninvited traders and almost half of these complaints, 5,718, related to home maintenance work. Jackie supported a motion by James Kelly MSP which highlights the fact that rogue traders have frequently been reported to offer services at what appear to be attractive rates and use persuasive sales techniques to pressure people into making hasty decisions.
The motion also commends the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in Scotland, in conjunction with Trading Standards, for running the campaign Nail the Rogues in order to raise awareness of the dangers of rogue and dishonest traders and for providing information on how to find reputable traders. Jackie said: “I am pleased to support the Nail the Rogues campaign.
By offering what appears to be a cheap deal, rogue traders put jobs in legitimate small and medium sized companies in Dumbarton, the Vale of Leven and Helensburgh and Lomond at risk. "Local consumers, especially the elderly and vulnerable, must be protected as far as possible and encouraged to be on their guard against rogue traders knocking at their door.”
Grahame Barn, Director of FMB Scotland, said: “If a tradesman comes to your door and tries to sell you a home improvement, FMB Scotland advises you close the door and do not engage in conversation.
"If you need a builder ask friends and family for a recommendation or use a trade association such as the FMB, and always use a contract. You can get more information on finding and working with builders on our website www.fmb.org.uk/fab.
"You can also order a free leaflet and door sticker to help you avoid rogues from the Nail the Rogues website http://www.nailtherogues.org.uk/”