RESIDENTS in North Swindon have been warned to take care after a series of people were tricked by door-to-door salesmen.
The warning has particularly gone out to be wary of those offering services such as guttering repairs.
There have been reports of traders doing shoddy work yet taking money, while others have done nothing after being paid.
Among them was Nigel Funnel, 50, of Cloverfields in Haydon Wick, who was left out of pocket after a salesman only did half a job.
He said: “In late November we had a quote to have some of our pipes replaced. The man who came round told us it would take them a maximum of two weeks. He started on 25 November. He did all the struts and most of the guttering.
“At Christmas he never appeared at all and all I had left was strut guttering down the garage.
“In the middle of January he did part of that and left the end exposed. For the last few weeks he has kept promising to come round and finish the job, but we have not seen any sign of him. He has never turned up when he has said he would, and it was less than an hour’s work he had to do.
“I paid him £1,000 for all the work, and he has only done half a job.
“Because I have paid him for the work already but he never showed, I had to go and buy some extra materials to finish it all off myself.
“All the rubbish was left outside the front for four or five weeks, and I had water leaking everywhere from the guttering. He went away during Christmas and I was left in the lurch.”
Swindon Trading Standards have said people should not do business with people who knock at the door.
Carla Baker said: “We would tell residents never to deal with people who knock at the door. It is not illegal but it is not the way to do business.
“If people need to have work done then we run a buy-with-confidence website where people can check for approved companies. It is important people know what rights they have.”
One such right is a seven-day cooling-off period after an agreement is made, meaning the person can change their mind, even after the work has started, although they may be expected to pay a reasonable fee.
“What they can never do is sign this right away,” said Carla. “It gives people the chance to perhaps look for a cheaper price. There must also be all the correct paperwork. If the salesperson does not have this then the agreement means nothing, no matter how well the job has been done.”
If anyone has concerns, call 08454 040506 or visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk