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Rogue traders caught in West Berkshire

Dodgy traders in West Berkshire have tried to charge an 88-year-old pensioner £76,000 for roofing work – two thirds more than their original quote.

Other rogue traders have been found trying to charge £1,400 for unnecessary work.

Trading standards officers worked with Thames Valley Police in June as part of an operation to identify and deal with any businesses that deliberately overcharge for unsatisfactory goods and services in the area.

They found seven out of the 11 companies they investigated have been supplying the correct paperwork.

In one case officers came across an 88-year-old resident who lived alone. The resident had paid £12,000 to a trader who was now demanding £76,000 for roofing work.

The consumer had originally been quoted £29,000.

Officers assisted the consumer by supporting them with negotiations and the case is now the subject of further investigation and enquiries.

During the operation traders who were identified cold calling were stopped at the consumers’ doors, preventing them from charging the residents £1,400 for unnecessary work.

Officers say it is likely that this amount would have increased as these traders often increase the costs once the work has started.

Officers also identified four properties where rogue trader activity had already taken place. The works had cost in excess of £30,000.

Martin Woodley, principal trading standards officer, said, “Trading Standards officers and the police regularly work together and share intelligence to tackle unfair trading and fraud.

“While the vast majority of businesses operate lawfully and fairly, there will always be some who take advantage of their customers to turn a quick profit.

“These businesses can also disadvantage those operating within the law.”

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