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Be sure at the door

3 August 2018


Rogue traders often pick on vulnerable residents, often older people. They call on them and offer to carry out household repairs, such as to roofs or driveways. They have been known to call round after storms or flooding.

They often appear persuasive and may seem friendly. They may also claim to know and to have done work for your friends and neighbours, however, don’t be taken in by them.


You decide whether you need any work done to your house, not them. If you think they have a point and you do need some house repairs, contact a Buy With Confidence accredited trader and ask them to come round to give you a quote.


If ever you’re worried you’ve been taken in by a rogue trader, don’t be ashamed, but let either Essex Police or Trading Standards know – or talk to a friend or relative.


Be sure at the door

 A genuine trader doesn’t:

  • Call without an appointment
  • Ask you to go to the bank to withdraw cash or make a money transfer
  • Offer to take you to the bank to withdraw cash for payment
  • Ask you to pay in full before the work is complete
  • Insist that you make a decision about the work he is offering to do on the spot
  • Bully or scare you into doing the work


If you think you may need some household repairs:

  • Check the list of Buy with Confidence traders
  • Get three quotes
  • Get a written estimate detailing exactly what work will be carried out, how much it will cost and what are the terms of payment.


Take your time to make sure you’re happy with what you’re undertaking – maybe ask a trusted friend or relative for advice or ring the Buy with Confidence number.


If you would like a fridge magnet with some advice on it about what to do if you get a cold caller offering to do some work on your house, you can pick one up from your local library or GP surgery.


The magnet has been produced by Essex Trading Standards, Essex Police and Age UK Essex as part of a campaign to warn residents about rogue traders.


This video gives advice to neighbours or relatives of signs to look out for to spot if an elderly person has become a victim of rogue traders.