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Rogue traders warning

PUBLISHED: 15:50 11 March 2009 | UPDATED: 09:40 12 August 2010

RIP-OFF tree surgeons have been targeting elderly people, charging them extortionate amounts of money for little work Bromley

RIP-OFF tree surgeons have been targeting elderly people, charging them extortionate amounts of money for little work

Bromley police and trading standards officers have received complaints over the past few weeks from people who have been charged excessive amounts of money for little or no work.

In one case an elderly man was charged twice for the same job.

Another case involved a pensioner being charged £3,000 to have his lawn cut. Both matters are being investigated.

Head of Commercial Services at Bromley council, Clive Davison, said: "To be on the safe side you should use a trader who has a recognised address and can provide a written quote. If possible, use a company who is a member of a trade association, such as the Arboriculture Association.

"You should also make sure the trader has insurance and can provide certificates, no matter how small the job. Also if it is a big job ask for references and check the trees are not protected."

Residents should receive paperwork from any trader who carries out work on their property which should include their names, addresses, the amount they plan to charge and an indication that a seven day cooling-off period exists.

This means that any quote received can be compared to other offers.

Police and trading standards are investigating rogue traders who are targeting elderly residents and are keen to speak to anyone who has any work done by traders cold calling, if only to check them out.

Consumers can call the Trading Standards rapid response number on 07903 852090 if they are approached.

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