Dodgy Tree Loppers in Town
NSW Fair Trading has received reports of two itinerant traders in Grafton, cold-calling vulnerable people, using scare tactics to secure work and charging exorbitant rates once the work was complete.
NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Rod Stowe, outlined concerns that the dodgy traders were manipulating vulnerable people to secure work.
“In one instance, it is alleged that the dodgy traders advised an elderly person that they were sent to inspect and remove a dangerous tree.
“The traders then proceeded to charge $3,000 for the job, despite a local service previously quoting just $1,200. The traders then failed to issue an invoice.”
It is important that consumers note that under the Australian Consumer Law, cooling off periods automatically apply to unsolicited sales where the goods or services are valued over $100, and that payment cannot be sought during the cooling off period.
A Fair Trading investigator in Grafton has advised that the two men and their distinctive fluorescent green Hino truck with a yellow chipper trailer and Victorian number plates has not been seen in the area for over 24 hours.
“At this stage we believe the trader has moved on,” said Mr Stowe.
“We have concerns that these dodgy traders may find more victims as they move around regional New South Wales.”
Customers considering engaging any trader to carry out works to their home should make sure the trader holds a licence that is current and valid for the work they will be doing.
Licence checks are free and can be completed online at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au, or by calling 13 32 20.