The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning the elderly to be wary of doorstep traders offering home improvement services. They made the warning after they received more than 5,300 complaints about the issue in the last year; an increase of 16% on the previous year.
The OFT believes that the increase may be due to people having more concerns about their properties following the severe winter experienced last year. They point out that doorstep canvassing is not illegal, but that rogue trading was an ongoing problem.
Helena Kerklots from Age Concern has stated that with winter coming around again they want people to be aware that the numbers of doorstep traders may increase. She also says that older people tend to be targeted more often.
Michele Shambrook from OFT has also commented that work carried out by rogue traders is sometimes not needed and can be of a poor standard, while being more expensive than originally quoted. The OFT points out that people should not accept the advice of people over their doorstep and should get independent advice from an expert before they get any work done.