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Caveat Emptor!

There are some industries which seem to attract a high volume of rogue traders. We’ve all met them, people who assure us unequivocally that they are seasoned experts in their field. Sometime we can can be taken in by their sincerity, and that is where it can all go horribly wrong. The truth is the only way to approach any service provider is with a predefined checklist of thing you’d like to know before you consider using them. Things like: are they affiliated with any training body? Can they verify their address? Can they provide references? Can they provide a method statement? Can they provide a tax receipt? These questions usually scare of cowboy tradesmen, and it usually becomes obvious early on in a discussion if a provider or seller is capable of the job or not.

But there are particular trades, or at least particular occasions, where a buyer should truly beware. Due diligence is an often used term when making a purchase but here are a few situations where a little street savvy might save you from an unscrupulous trader:


Used car Trader – Unfortunately they get a bad reputation, not always justified. But the truth is used car traders can mislead and misguide buyers at will. You will not be privy to a car’s history, and whatever the dealer tells you may or may not be true.  The best way to approach this is with requests for written guarantees, usually in the form of a warranty. Never take a dealer’s word for something unless they are willing to put it in writing, and always seek independent advice regarding a vehicle if you are not familiar with the automobile industry.


Roof Repairs and Gutter Cleaning – This is a particularly tricky task, which many people shy away from. It can be hard and dangerous work, and some traders play on this. Also, it is difficult to gauge if a job has been done properly. Many housebound individual or pensioners must rely on the integrity of a workman to do the job correctly as there is little way to inspect the work. Rogue traders will target households they suspect have older or infirm residents. The best solution is to approach a local, well established firm to carry out the work. Strangers making cold-call visits to your home cannot be verified, and even if you see them actually go onto your roof there is no definite way to ensure a satisfactory job has been done. A local firm however is more likely to want good feedback. If a month later you gutters are blocked at least you can leave negative reviews. No legitimate commercial enterprise wants bad publicity.


Tree Surgeon – Again, dangerous and hard work. Many homeowners balk at the prospect of climbing a tree and hacking away at an intrusive limb. But beware, there are always unqualified, unethical individuals who will offer to do the job at an attractive price without taking the necessary steps to ensure it is done safely. If there is an accident on your land and public liability insurance is not in place, the consequences could be severe. If in doubt contact a genuine service provider like Perth based The Tree Firm for advice.


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