Now that the evenings are getting lighter and the weather a tiny bit warmer, we’ve started to notice all the little bits and bobs that need sorting out around the house. The main culprit for us, is the state of the garden. We’ve just let it roam wild and free since late Autumn. Which basically means we now have an abundance of dead leaves and moss everywhere. It’s all beginning to look pretty grim. Our little cottage garden is quite lovely in the Spring and Summer months. So I’d like to start clearing it up a bit and encouraging nice things to grow there.
Except the only problem being – I don’t actually want to do this myself. On account of being lazy. So I am hoping to pay someone else to do it.
I first asked our neighbours if they knew anyone local. However it appears they are all motivated enough to do it themselves (shame on me)! So couldn’t give me any contacts. In the end I mentioned it to my Dad, who is retired and he’s agreed to give it a going over in exchange for a few pints and a curry. Sounds like a good deal to me, what a legend!
But it got me thinking, had someone knocked on the door at the right time – amidst my cursing at slipping over in the moss to get to the outdoor freezer. Or had they offered a bit of a deal or looked like Tom Hardy…could I have fallen victim to a doorstep conman?
Kent County Council are launching a new campaign this Spring called ‘Think Before You Buy’. It’s all about raising awareness regarding doorstep crime and informing people of their rights as a consumer.
Doorstep conmen (and women) seem to work in one of two ways. The first being scare tactics, for example knocking on your door claiming that your roof tiles are dangerously lose and offering to fix them for extortionate prices. They will then proceed to do a shoddy job, or half a job or no job at all. Making off with the high deposit you foolishly paid up front. In cash.
Others may play the long game, offering low prices to gain your trust. Then returning to quote for higher, overpriced work – making more vulnerable people feel obliged and bullied into accepting.
Elderly residents appear to be more at risk of being conned by doorstep criminals. Shockingly 85% of victims are likely to aged 65 or over. Pensioners are also the least likely to contact Citizens Advice for help or to make a complaint, leaving them as primary targets for these criminals.
Kent County Council have created this little Lego video below, to help give advice on how to protect yourself and others in your community against rogue traders.
It’s always important to remember to obtain a number of quotes from different sources and check that the trader is Tradings Standard Approved.
*This post has been written in collaboration with Kent County Council*