I was recently approached by a local resident who raised the issue that a number of companies have been carrying out tree work in the area and this work was, in some instances, not up to standard and not value for money and I was asked what, if anything, could be done. Residents have also in some cases been pressurised by these companies to have tree work carried out.
The initial comment from the Council’s Forestry Section was:
“Sadly this type of ‘cold calling’ is not uncommon and there is nothing that we as the Forestry Section can do to assist. It really is up to individuals to be firm and only accept quotes and work from reputable companies.
If these workmen persist a course of action would be to contact the police with details of the offender and see if they can give appropriate warnings.”
West Yorkshire Trading Standards commented as follows:
“I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of the “businesses” leafleting and calling are not professionally trained specialists. The leaflets look increasingly professional sometimes with Freephone numbers, but there is rarely any traceable address or details of the actual trader. The only way of avoiding problems and unsightly work is for residents to have nothing whatsoever to do with them. People should never deal on the doorstep. As you’re aware Cold Calling Control Zones do help. Improvements come from raising awareness amongst residents of the problems created when they do use these types of traders – shoddy work, misleading quotes that often turn into aggressive demands for large amounts of cash. In the worst cases we’ve all heard of instances where vulnerable elderly victims can then be repeatedly targeted.”