RESIDENTS are being urged to be on their guard against cold callers charging hundreds of pounds for basic gardening services.
East Sussex Trading Standards has received a number of reports of cold callers in the Lewes and Seaford areas offering gardening and tree surgery.
Some residents have been charged between £750 and £950 for basic services which have been poorly carried out.
Cllr Bill Bentley, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for communities and safety, said: “Cold callers are often rogue traders who prey on vulnerable people, pressuring them into paying over-inflated prices for work which is not always necessary.
“The advice from our Trading Standards team is to never agree on the doorstep to have work carried out, even if you’re offered a good deal for cash payment or an immediate start.”
He added: “There are many honest and experienced tradesmen and gardeners in East Sussex who will carry out good work at a reasonable price.”
Advice from East Sussex Trading Standards includes always using a reputable trader, preferably someone who has been recommended by a friend or relative, taking time before making a decision and getting several written quotes before agreeing to have any work done.
Trading Standards also approve local traders via their partnership with Checkatrade and Buy with Confidence, and details of traders can be found at www.checkatrade.com and www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk
Anyone who has concerns about doorstep callers is urged to call the police on 101, or the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.