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Travelling conmen laying hot air not bitumenĀ 

27 March 2015

NSW Fair Trading is warning Goulburn residents to be on the lookout for travelling conmen after dodgy traders were spotted in the area selling bitumen services.

Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said several locals had made complaints regarding traders selling poor quality bitumen services.

“Travelling conmen often move door-to-door offering cut-price services and products. They operate unlicensed and are often not qualified for the work or services they purportedly can do,” Mr Stowe said.

“Often traders try to use elaborate stories to lure in and rip off consumers. Dodgy bitumen traders have reportedly told customers:

  • their vehicle has broken down and they need to get rid of stock
  • they have recently completed a job and they are selling the leftover product
  • they are in the area as they have just completed a big job at a neighbour’s property.

“If a good or service sounds cheap, it is cheap for a reason as it is of poor quality. Customers are often left with shoddily completed or incomplete work which can cost more to repair.”

Bitumen work is the most common trade offered by travelling conmen and in 2014 NSW Fair Trading received more than 60 reports about traders selling dodgy bitumen services.

Fair Trading recommends people do not deal with itinerant conmen. They are unscrupulous, often targeting the frail and the elderly and can become quite intimidating and threatening when challenged.

For work requiring a contractor’s licence, consumers can check licence details online at the Fair Trading website or call 13 32 20.

The Australian Consumer Law prohibits contractors from intimidating or threatening consumers for payment. If consumers feel threatened they should call NSW Police immediately.

The Australian Consumer Law stipulates that people door knocking or cold calling residents in NSW to offer work valued at more than $100 must tell consumers about their rights, including the right to terminate agreements and the existence of a 10 business day cooling off period for unsolicited agreements that result from cold call arrangements. Payment cannot be demanded during the 10 day cooling off period.

Watch our video Driveway Scam – don’t get fooled by dodgy tradespeople

Visit the Stop Travelling Conmen Facebook page and check the interactive map for reports of travelling conmen at: www.stoptravellingconmen.org.

For more information go to the Fair Trading website.

Follow Fair Trading on Facebook and Twitter.

Media contact: 02 9962 9488 (24/7)

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