People in Lichfield and Burntwood are being warned to be on their guard after a rise in reports of cowboy builders operating across Staffordshire.

Trading Standards officers

Trading Standards officers say complaints have increased about tradesmen ripping off residents wanting home improvements.

Issues reported include as overcharging, unnecessary work and large deposits taken without the work being carried out.

Cllr Victoria Wilson, cabinet member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council, said people should carry out checks on workmen before agreeing to use their services.

“Cowboy builders prey on the vulnerable and sadly are active at this time of the year, as people use the New Year as an opportunity to do some work on their home.

“Most reputable builders, roofers and gardeners do not cold call. Our advice to people would be to always use a reputable trader, preferably someone who has been recommended by a friend or relative, take your time before making a decision and get several written quotes before agreeing to have any work done. 

“Never agree on the doorstep to have work carried out and don’t be tricked into thinking you’re getting a good deal in return for payment in cash or an immediate start to work.

“If you’re unsure about a cold caller you should ask them to make an appointment to come back when a friend or family member can be with you.”

Cllr Victoria Wilson, Staffordshire County Council

Anyone who has concerns about doorstep callers is advised to call police on 101, or the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.

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