Issued By
Lancashire County Council


HOUSEHOLDERS ADVISER NOT TO FALL FOR ‘FREE DAMP PROOF CHECK’ HARD SELL

 

Following a number of consumer enquiries, Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards Officers are warning householders to be on their guard against ‘cold calling’ damp proofers who may offer damp proofing work which may be unnecessary or over priced.

Last year, the County Council’s Trading Standards Service received dozens of complaints from householders who had been telephoned and offered a ‘free damp check’. When this was accepted, a representative using a damp detection meter called and concluded that there was evidence of damp. 

A hard sell for the remedial work then followed, including ‘price reduction’ offers with prices ranging from several hundred to several thousand pounds being quoted. In one extreme case last year, an elderly householder was quoted £18,000 for work which, on the advice of Trading Standards, fortunately they did not accept.

The Trading Standards Service is now receiving enquiries from householders who have been telephoned and offered similar free checks and consumers are advised to take the following steps if they think they have a rising damp problem:-

 County Councillor Tim Ormrod, Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Rural Affairs, said:

“Past complaints received by Trading Standards Service have shown that householders should be wary of ‘cold calling’ or doorstep tradesmen and not agree to have work done there and then. 

“Do not be impressed with ‘damp meters’ as these may be used to impress householders and convince them that work needs doing.

“If you think you need any home improvement work doing, shop around and look for reputable businesses who will be willing to give you a free quote and time to consider their offer.

“Although you should have 7 days cooling off period for a doorstep deal, you may find yourself hurried into signing and paying for the job within this period.

“If you receive a cold call then ring our Trading Standards Consumer Advice line on 0845 600 1352 for further advice.”


Issued by the Media Unit, Corporate Communications Group, County Hall, Preston, PR1 8XJ.
For further information please contact Clare Ianson on (tel) 01772 263537, Fax 01772 263553, 
Email - press.office@css.lancscc.gov.uk
All Lancashire County Council press releases are now available on-line at www.lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/news