Each year, South Tyneside Trading Standards receives numerous complaints about rogue traders. They normally call door to door and it is common for them to offer to do work on driveways, guttering, gardening or roof repairs.
Rogue Traders are criminals. They appear to be professional trades people, they may use printed leaflets and well maintained vehicles but these can be used to 'con' consumers. Criminal activities can include fraud, charging high prices for poor work or charging for work that is not done or not necessary and in the worst cases, commit burglary. The criminals concerned will often target and seek out members of society who are vulnerable; often sharing this information with other criminals.
Although this Service works closely with the Police to stop rogue traders, many of the reports we receive from the public come too late for us to locate the traders and recover money paid. The best way to tackle the problem is to turn them away at the door.
If you have any reports of suspected rogue trader incidents or suspicious activities, or if you would like advice or support on such an incident, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service
What are my rights if I enter into an agreement at home?
With effect from 13th June 2014, Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, came into force and replaced the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008.
Although there are several similarities there are also important differences within the new Regulations, which will apply to contracts made on and away from business premises, and also introduce new guidelines for businesses providing digital content. These Regulations will affect most businesses that contract with consumers, regardless of where and how the contract is entered into.
Cancellation Rights will continue to apply to off-premises and distance contracts, however, there has been an increase with regard to the time a consumer has to change their minds. The 'cooling off' period has been extended from 7 days to 14 days and consumers should return goods within 14 days of cancellation.
See guidance notes on cancellation rights
If in doubt, don't sign anything
To report a rogue trader in South Tyneside, email email@example.com or contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06