Trading standards take swift action in Dudley borough

Residents being targeted by cold-calling rogue traders are urged to contact trading standards, who can take swift action to help protect them.

At this time of year, the Dudley Council-run service see an increase in the number of complaints from residents targeted by the fraudsters selling services door-to-door.

They will often tell residents their property needs a small repair or minimal maintenance before falsely escalating the problem and inflating the costs. Work is often carried out to a poor standard.

Once a complaint is reported to trading standards officers they will, however, take swift action to determine if a consumer is being ripped off.

In early May Trading Standards received a complaint from a homeowner, who had been conned into unnecessary roof repairs costing thousands of pounds. Officers immediately investigated and have stepped in to protect the consumer and stopping them from handing over the money.

While this investigation is ongoing, officers are keen to raise awareness so others contact them and ask for help if they think they’ve been targeted. Councillor Ian Bevan, cabinet member-elect for public health, said:

"While cold calling is not illegal, we always advise people not to engage with traders who turn up at their door uninvited. Our officers can help any Dudley borough resident who is concerned about the work being carried out at their property.

"Officers will check whether traders are complying with their legal requirements and satisfy themselves that consumers are receiving a fair deal. They will look to take legal action if that is not the case.

"For a list of reputable tradespeople, we recommend people refer to our fix-a-home scheme."

Trading standards officers advise anyone who needs work carrying out to get several quotes from traders known to them, their family members, or friends.

They also advise people to display a notice in their window to deter cold callers and not to engage with anyone who cold calls at their property. For any enquiry, homeowners within the Dudley borough are advised to call trading standards on 01384 818871.

More details on the fix-a-home scheme can be found online


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