What are Rogue Traders?

What are "Rogue Traders"?

They are traders who call uninvited to your home to sell goods and services but have no regard for the law. They generally target more vulnerable people.

Doorstep selling is a preferred approach of many rogue traders. Rogue traders target their victims and provide poor quality, unfinished and often unnecessary work.

Claims made about investments may also be untrue. Some rogue traders will not take no for an answer and may try to stay in your home until you sign a contract. 

It is also often linked with distraction burglary-where a resident is drawn out of the house, for example to look at their roofing and while they are occupied another person enters the home and steals valuables.

Examples of the type of services rogue traders may offer

  • Driveways and paving
  • Garden Maintenance
  • Home or roofing and gutter repairs including cleaning tiles
  • Disability equipment and aids
  • Security alarms and products
  • Pension and investments

Your right to cancel contracts

If a trader calls at your house and you agree to buy goods worth more than £42 or have a service carried out, they have to:

  • Give you 14 days to cancel for any reason
  • Services should not be started within the 14 day period without your Explicit permission
  • Services may still be cancelled during the 14 days but you may have to pay for work done and materials supplied
  • Information about cancellation MUST be given in writing
  • This does not apply to bespoke items, perishable items and newspapers

If you are not given this in writing the contract cannot be enforced.

Your other consumer rights

  • Goods must be of satisfactory quality and as described
  • Services must be carried out with reasonable skill and care and within a reasonable time
  • If not agreed in advance charges must be reasonable

Do not agree to have any work done until:

  • You have checked the trader’s name and address
  • You have been given written notice of your right to cancel
  • You have checked the price by getting other quotes
  • You have a clear agreement on the work to be done and how much it will cost

If you are unsure how to handle a trader cold calling at your door, then contact Trading Standards via the Citizens' Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 or if you feel threatened or intimidated then phone the Police on 999.

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