Workwear specialist Clothes2order has revealed the areas across the U.K. that have fallen foul of most rogue builders and scams, and Wales takes the crown as the region most prone to scams, while Wyre in North West England is the most scammed city or town. Clothes2Order analysed data from Citizens Advice’s Consumer Advice Trends to reach its conclusions.
Key findings included:
The two areas with the highest proportion of complaints per population were both located right next to each other (Wyre and Blackpool)
Although the North West was home to both of the top two most-scammed individual authorities, it was only the third most scammed region. Wales and the East Midlands took the top two spots.
Top-placed region Wales had a regional level of complaints of 109.1 per 100,000 people – that’s almost double the least scammed, London, with 59.5 complaints per 100,000 people. These figures compare to an eye watering 182.2 complaints per 100,000 in top town Wyre, and 170.5 in Blackpool.
How to avoid building scams:
Never pay in full upfront – If a builder or tradesperson asks you to pay for the full job, or even a significant portion, before starting any work, alarm bells should be ringing. One excuse commonly used by rogue traders is that they need to order tools or materials, however, suppliers will usually provide these on credit.
Note the fine print – when you agree on any work to be done on your house, make sure everything is fully transparent and clear. Making expectations clear from the start as well as making it clear that all work that is done is covered in the price will stop any extra charges down the line
Don’t book on the spot – If someone comes to your door offering a deal that seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Many rogue traders like to use the common excuse of having materials left over from a job and not wanting to make a loss. These circumstances, however, usually lead to the price of the job escalating rapidly.
All figures were sourced from Citizens Advice’s Consumer Advice Trends July 2021, and show the number of complaints made to Citizens Advice for the following three categories in the previous twelve months:
- House construction
- Home maintenance & improvements
- DIY & handypersons
Note that data was only available for England and Wales.