CLOSE THE DOOR ON DODGY DRIVEWAY DEALS

Posted on 05. Jul, 2010 in News

Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson today warned residents of Melbourne’s outer suburbs to watch out for travelling conmen offering cheap driveway resurfacing deals.

Mr Robinson said households in Montrose, Rockbank and Boronia have recently been approached by traders offering to resurface their driveways with asphalt left over from other jobs in the area.

Households are reporting being pressured into paying thousands of dollars for shoddy and unsatisfactory work.

Mr Robinson urged Victorian households to say no and close the door if approached with the offer of cheap asphalting or other home services.

“The Brumby Labor Government is standing up for Victorian households by informing them about scams and rip-offs so they can protect their homes and their finances,” Mr Robinson said.

“Dodgy con men prey on Victorian consumers, often targeting vulnerable groups like the elderly or families in isolated locations.  They travel from place to place, door-knocking and pressuring people to hand over cash upfront for so-called discount home repairs.

“While the offer of cheap work sounds enticing, it usually ends up costing more because you end up having to pay to fix a poor quality or incomplete job and you lose any deposits or other payments when the trader does a runner.”

Mr Robinson said households should watch out for signs that an offer of home repairs may be dubious, including:

  • The trader approaches you by knocking on your door;
  • The quote on home repair services is cheaper than the market rate and the trader pressures you to accept it immediately; and
  • The trader demands payment for the job before any work has begun.

 

“If you do need work done to your home, don’t be tempted by unsolicited cheap offers.  Legitimate tradespeople rarely door-knock touting for business,” he said.

“Only use established tradespeople who give written quotes.  Shop around and get a couple of quotes, so you get an idea of the going rate for repairs.  Don’t hand over any cash until you are satisfied and confident that your chosen tradesperson has the skills and professionalism to do the job properly.”

Mr Robinson advised residents door-knocked by a suspect tradesperson with a cheap deal on home repairs to refuse the offer and to report the incident to Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) by calling 1300 55 81 81.

“CAV needs your help to find and prosecute dodgy traders so we can put them out of business.  If door-knocked, take down as much information as you can, such as the trader’s name, their vehicle registration and any another identifying features,” he said. 

“By refusing to deal with dodgy tradespeople, we can ultimately stop them because there will be no market for their substandard services and fraudulent offers.”

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