The term 'Rogue Trader' is used to describe criminals who target homeowners. They make fraudulent and untruthful statements and carry out shoddy work with the intention of obtaining as much money as they can. The people involved in this type of criminality are practised, convincing and organised. Our experience shows they favour the vulnerable members of the community, particularly the elderly and lonely.
Typically, these rogue callers will arrive unannounced and point out work that they say is needed at a resident's home. This includes gardening, driveway and building work. They will probably want to commence works quickly. Residents are advised not to agree immediately to any work. It is always advisable to obtain two or three estimates for proposed work.
Right to cancel
By law, traders have to provide customers with a written document which sets out their right to change their mind to a written or verbal contract. The document allows a resident a minimum of 14 days to consider whether they still want to go ahead. If they change their mind within these 14 days, they are entitled to cancel the contract without any penalty. Please see the following guidance for more information https://www.bromley.gov.uk/leaflet/309636/21/766/d.
The Trading Standards Rogue Trading team deal with criminal offences committed by doorstep callers. The team works closely with Bromley Police and the Borough Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Bank and post office staff in the borough have been trained to look out for customers who may have been sent to the branch by rogue traders to withdraw unusually large sums of money to pay for the works. They are encouraged to contact Trading Standards immediately so that assistance can be given.
How to report rogue traders
If you or someone you know has been, or is likely to be tricked into handing over money for unnecessary property repairs or garden work, then call the Rapid Response team on 07903 852090. In appropriate cases, officers from the the team will quickly attend and investigate.
This Rapid Response Service is for Bromley residents only; if you live outside the borough, please contact your local Trading Standards Department through your local council.