Hampshire Trading Standards has received several reports of residents being cold called about blocked drains. Exaggerated claims about the state of the drains may be made, and elaborate stories given as the reason for the call. False footage of a blocked drain may be shown to the resident.
Offers to clear the drains are made, and sometimes money is demanded up front. Prices may be inflated, and may not be given before the work is started.
Trading Standards advise residents not to agree to work that is instigated as a result of a cold call. Residents should obtain at least 3 written quotes from reputable businesses or traders who are either members of the Hampshire County Council Trading Standards Buy With Confidence Scheme or a recognised trade association.
Members of the Buy With Confidence scheme are fully audited to ensure their trading practices are legal, honest and fair. All members have been checked for trustworthiness and compliance with consumer protection laws. Details can be obtained by telephoning 01962 833620, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Buy With Confidence website.
Traders who agree work at the home of an individual or at a place other than their usual business premises are required by law to provide consumers with a Notice of Right to Cancel, which gives a 14 day cooling off period from the date the work starts. Even if work has started, there is still a legal right to cancel, although some payment may be required for materials.
To inform Trading Standards about traders offering drainage services where false claims are suspected, report the matter to our partners at the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. Please try to obtain a name and address for the company.
Doorstep Crime can also be reported to Hampshire Police on their non-urgent number 101 or dial 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated.