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Don’t succumb to the roguish charms of a Cowboy Trader

Vita Millers 20th Oct 2011 No Comments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It is difficult to believe there is still anyone out there who is not wary when a stranger comes knocking on their door offering to do work for a knock-down price, but according to recent research, this is exactly the case.

According to regulatory body for the electrical industry NICEIC, an estimated 6.2 million people employed cowboy traders to do work on their home in the last five years, resulting in £3.7 million being spent by home-owners needing to fix botched jobs .

In a way it is touching that people are so trusting of strangers they employ to do work. But that trust is nearly always misplaced, especially with a shocking new trend for traders using the logo of an existing company which they are not actually employed by, to give them legitimacy.

In their recent survey, NICEIC found that only a fifth of those asked (17%) said they double check the identity of a tradesman arriving at the door. This is why has launched a campaign to urge more people to ASK when someone comes to your door.

At MoneyMagpie we completely believe that being forewarned is forearmed, and are happy to step behind a campaign that encourages people to be more wary of strangers coming up to your door wanting to get hold of your hard earned cash. We would also call for all you smart and savvy consumers to look out for and warn elderly friends, relatives or neighbours, as unfortunately, they are even more likely to be sucked in by persuasive cowboy traders looking for an easy buck.

As Tony Cable from NICEIC says: “It’s a great shame that some trades people think they can trick home-owners by wrongly using a company logo, but sadly this is reality. Our survey clearly shows that consumers still aren’t checking and double checking ID despite being scrupulous when it comes to other areas of their life.

“Our message is simple – ASK and double check, always find out for yourself that the tradesman at your door is who they say they are.  By not checking out a tradesman, consumers could be inviting in a rogue and costing themselves a fortune if a bodged job needs to be put right.”

So whether someone comes to your door claiming to need to read the meter or offering to do work on your house, the most important thing is to take a good look at their identification and if you feel you need further proof you can always call the company they are claiming to be from and double-check the person at your door is who they say they are.

NICEIC has also launched a ‘wall of shame’ which names and shames rogue traders caught falsely using the NICEIC logo. It currently has 60 names on it. If you think you have been a victim of a cowboy trader or suspect somebody of misusing a logo,  get in touch with [email protected] or call 0870 013 0382 or take a look at the wall of shame by following this link.

Remember if you have a really bad feeling about someone, just tell them to go away and shut the door in their face!

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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