Warning over cowboy builders

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WIGAN Borough residents are being warned about cowboy builders as two local residents are duped into handing over cash for unfinished work.

The incidents both took place in the Hindley Green area of the borough earlier this month after three men knocked on their doors and told them that they needed work doing on their roof.

“It is unacceptable for any resident to feel under pressure in this way on their own doorstep. We would always advise residents not to buy goods or services as a result of a ‘cold call’. A genuine trader will be happy to let you consider your options, and will only return at your request, once you have had time to make your decision

Councillor Kevin Anderson

The work was left unfinished and of a poor standard. Although the victims had been given documentation to confirm the cash payments they gave of £500 and £600, the invoices were incomplete, with no trading addresses or valid phone numbers, leaving them unable to trace the traders.

The men, who may be targeting other areas of the borough, are described as white, two being in their late 20’s, one in his early 40’s, driving a white unmarked van, and have a young male child with them aged around nine-years-old.

Councillor Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment at Wigan Council, said: “It is unacceptable for any resident to feel under pressure in this way on their own doorstep. We would always advise residents not to buy goods or services as a result of a ‘cold call’. A genuine trader will be happy to let you consider your options, and will only return at your request, once you have had time to make your decision.

“We would always advise residents to get three quotes from reputable traders, make sure you get everything in writing and agree in advance the price and what work is to be carried out. Wigan’s trading standards service has a list of 200 reputable local businesses to choose from, whose members have agreed to a code of practice to deal fairly and honestly with their customers.”

For traders you can rely on check out Wigan Council’s Good Trader Scheme at www.wigan.gov.uk/goodtrader or if you are aged 50 or over, or have a disability, AgeUK Wigan can access the scheme on your behalf, call 01942 826079.

Any resident who has suspicions about cold callers, or bogus traders, should ring the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0345 4040506, or in an emergency call the police on 999.