Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is warning Hampshire residents to be aware of fraudulent traders offering carpet cleaning services.
The trader will normally make initial contact by posting an advertising card through the front door. This may include a list of prices that look reasonable, and even include a fixed rate for cleaning a number of rooms. The householder is invited to phone to make an appointment and a price may be agreed over the phone.
However, when the trader arrives, they may recommend that additional work or special treatments are carried out which will result in an inflated charge.
Real Life Case Study
Mr and Mrs B, who are an older vulnerable couple, made an appointment to have two carpets cleaned after receiving a card advertising reasonable prices. When the trader arrived at their property he quoted £100 to clean two carpets. However, when he completed the work he produced an invoice for £400 which included a stain guard they had not requested. Mrs B felt intimidated by the trader and agreed to make a payment by her debit card, even though she believed this charge was unreasonable. She reported this matter to the Trading Standards Service, and with their intervention a refund of £300 was obtained.
Do not be tempted to respond to unsolicited advertisements of this nature. No reputable trader can give a clear idea of how much a job will cost, without carrying out an inspection first of all. It is a good idea to obtain two or three quotes in advance to assess what a reasonable price is, and to ensure you are not being ripped off.
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on
08454 04 05 06
Or online using the
Online consumer complaint form link below
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