Rogue trading encompasses a range of activity where the trader is acting outside of the Law and to the detriment of the consumer. Activities largely relate to substandard services, including products not meeting the required weights and measures (e.g. underweight goods, such as bulk fuel or short measures at your pub) and activities such as substandard roofing and building work.
Building fraud remains a priority area of work for Trading Standards South West (TSSW) and accounted for over a quarter of Trading Standards (TS) intelligence submission in the South West (e.g. areas TS are actively investigating following receipt of complaints from the public). Offenders are conducting needless, unnecessary and/or substandard work, engaging in misleading actions (such as telling a person they need roof work, when there is no evidence that such work is required) and often employing aggressive practices to get a person to part with their money. The persons targeted are often the elderly, and persons who are isolated and vulnerable. However, anyone who owns a property can become a victim. You may wish to use our how to avoid building fraud materials, which include a checklist of what to look out for when seeking a builder.
We have seen an increase in the trend for businesses using of social media platforms to promote a variety of services. This brings its own challenges to the consumer, as it can be difficult to check the legitimacy of the company and the services they provide. Where possible we recommend doing some homework on the Trader and if possible using a Trader Approved scheme, such as Buy With Confidence.