Consumer Alerts – March 2018
Bogus flyers and adverts
Residents are reporting problems with roofers and external property maintenance such as fascia and guttering work after contacting the trader via a flyer or local advertisement posted through their door.
Such literature may give an address that is not genuine, only give a mobile number and often can indicate ‘special rates for OAP’s’ to attract business. Please be wary. Check validity if they are claiming to be a member of any trade association.
Best advice would be to always use local, known traders that you have a landline and legitimate address for. Ask family and friends for recommendations. Remember, if you agree to a contract in your own home you will have 14 days cancellation rights, 14 days to change your mind.
Door to door selling
Reports have been received of cold callers knocking on doors selling compost in the Fylde area. Although you may believe you are buying a small bag of compost for a few pounds, often the sellers can push you into buying more.
Mattress sellers have been reported cold calling in Fleetwood. Please do not be tempted to buy one.
HMRC Email Scam
There has been an increase in complaints received regarding emails that claim you are due a tax refund from the Inland Revenue.
This is a scam. It is likely the scammer will request your personal details and will require upfront fees or taxes for you to be able to claim a refund. Do not respond, delete the email.
Ban on Surcharges
Recent legislation changes make it illegal for businesses to impose any surcharge for using the following methods of payment::
– Consumer credit cards, debit cards or charge cards
– Similar payments that are not card based (e.g. mobile phone based)
– Electronic payment services (e.g. PayPal)
The legislation only applies to contracts made between businesses and consumers. A surcharge can be made when paying by cheque, but can only be the amount the business charged for processing the cheque.
Trading Standards advice is to always say no to cold callers. The Safetrader scheme can help you find a trader in your area, contact 0303 333 1111 or go to www.safetrader.org.uk
Contact the Trading Standards Service via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06