Wiltshire Publications

Trading Standards warns against rogue traders

TRADINGStandards are warning the public about rogue traders after a local pensioner was seriously over charged by a pest control company.

Trading Standards are urging people to be wary of companies that aren’t well known locally and to know their consumer rights  to ensure you are protected throughout.

White Horse News reader Freda Ireland contacted the paper following dealings with a pest control company based in Derbyshire.

Freda said, “I found their number in a local directory and gave them a call. I didn’t realise they were from Derbyshire, I thought they were local.

“They initially quoted me £50 for them to come and put down some boxes of poison and after being quoted £80 by the council, I thought that sounded very reasonable.

“When the gentleman arrived, he soon told me that he would have to put a further three boxes down in various places, increasing the price to nearly £200. I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like a lot of money but he assured me that the problem would be sorted. I gave him my bank details and he took a payment.”

Citizens Advice told the White Horse News, “If Mrs Ireland was given a quote over the phone but they then increased the price when they visited her home, she may be able to dispute the cost.

“A quotation is a promise to do work at an agreed price. It should set out what work will be done for the agreed price. If she was given a quotation over the phone she should not be asked to pay extra unless she asked the man to do extra work or he had to do extra work in order to do a satisfactory job and they couldn’t reasonably have known that they would need to do this work when they gave the quotation.

“In Mrs Ireland’s case, it sounds like the added amount of money was unreasonable.”

Frieda continued, “Looking back now, it all seems very suspect. I didn’t get a receipt from him for the payment nor did he leave any contact information.

“As soon as he walked in my house, I was quite suspicious of him. There was nothing professional about him whatsoever.

“The boxes that he put down haven’t even been touched. My son put some other poison down and that’s now all gone, so whatever they brought, didn’t work.”

Frieda reported the incident to Citizen’s Advice who have passed the information to Trading Standards who are now investigating the company and looking into Freida’s case.

They told the White Horse News that it sounds like Frieda was overcharged.

Frieda continued, “If they have overcharged me, I will be so angry. I’ve been honest all my life and for it to happen in my home is terrible. £200 is a lot of money out of a pension.

“You have to be so careful these days, especially when you live on your own.”

Trading Standards, told White Horse News, “We advise consumers to get everything in writing before any work is carried out. Make sure the details are outlined, what exactly they are going to do and how much it will cost.

“We also advise that consumers pay with a credit or debit card as there may be options for a charge back.

“If anyone is unsure about their consumer rights, they should visit citizens advice website www.citizensadvice.org.uk