Drive to curb scams by dodgy builders in Oxfordshire

Residents are being warned by Oxfordshire County Council’s trading standards to be wary of leaflets offering driveway or roofing repairs after some property owners were charged for additional, unnecessary work.  

Councillor Neil Fawcett, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and Safety, said: “I encourage people to get recommendations for trades people from friends and relatives. Failing that go to those approved trader schemes that make comprehensive checks on their members.

“Oxfordshire residents can check the Buy with Confidence website to find local traders who have been vetted and approved by trading standards to ensure that they operate in a legal, honest and fair way. I would also encourage getting three quotes from different traders before you agree to any work being done.”

A separate risk, also related to driveways, involves private contractors cold calling, offering to undertake work to lower highway kerbs that allows vehicles to access properties.

Councillor Fawcett’s advice is: “Don’t agree to offers of building work, home repairs or maintenance that come from a cold call. Don’t be afraid to say no, don’t be pressured and check with others if the work is required and what is a fair price to pay. If it’s out of the blue, it’s not for you!

“It is the house holder’s responsibility to apply through Oxfordshire County Council’s website for a licence to lower kerbs. Only approved contractors can undertake the work.”

Any Oxfordshire resident who has concerns about cold calling or potential scams can contact the Citizens Advice National Consumer Service on 0800 144 8848 or by visiting its website citizensadvice.org.uk.

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