Check out your green deal provider before writing the cheque
Rogue traders may be conning thousands of homeowners out of money they want to spend on making their homes more energy efficient, Energy UK said today. People considering energy efficiency improvements to their homes should only use registered Green Deal providers. As part of Scams Awareness Month and Doorstep Selling Week, Energy UK is calling for increased awareness of sales scams which see people falling victim to schemes fraudulently using the Green Deal name to get people to part with their cash.
A few simple precautions – one 'do’ and three 'don’ts’ - will ensure customers do not fall prey to rogue traders before agreeing to pay for an evaluation:
- Do check independently: check out the salesperson & company. The salesperson must provide written confirmation of their business address and a landline telephone number. But don’t take their word for it or automatically trust leaflets, brochures or a website – check with an independent source – such as directory inquiries - to make sure companies are genuine. If you are at all concerned contact local trading standards;
- Don’t pay up front: don’t pay for work until it is satisfactorily completed;
- Don’t Pay Cash: Be wary of anyone who is only willing to provide a product or service 'for cash’ and never be persuaded by someone who offers to come with you to the bank or to get the cash out for you;
- Don’t Deal: if someone says they can only do a 'special deal’ for a limited time, or as they are only in the area for a short while, show them the door.
Angela Knight, Chief Executive of Energy UK said,
“It’s good to be warm but let’s all be wary. Many people will be preparing for winter over the summer months and looking for affordable ways to make home improvements. The British public must be made aware of scams claiming to offer Green Deal finance deals that will just take your money without delivering the work. There is plenty of information available to help people find registered Green Deal companies to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their homes.”