A GORSLEY trader, who cold called and charged pensioners upfront for ‘poor’ roofing work, was docked over £1,000 for failing to give a long enough cooling off period.

Roy Martin Harris, 24, pleaded guilty at Hereford Magistrates Court to charges of failing to give a 14 day cooling off period to two Gorsley home owners for roofing work, on Tuesday 19 April.

 The sentence amounted to £710 compensation and a further £320 in fines and costs. Harris, of Gorsley himself, was convicted of similar offences three years ago which involved four vulnerable victims.

On this occasion, Harris cold called the retired home owners despite them living in a no cold calling zone.

Work such as repointing ridge tiles was done very poorly and, having paid in full up front, one of the victims reported the issue to Trading Standards.

Harris was ordered by the court to refund the victims in full within 28 days.

Councillor Graham Powell said: “Herefordshire Council has a zero tolerance policy on rogue trading and Trading Standards will work with our colleagues in the Police to crack down on anyone preying on vulnerable residents.”

Trading Standards advice is never to deal with cold callers on the telephone or at the door.

Rogue trading involves charging excessive prices for unnecessary and poor quality work and is not restricted to cold calling. Some use flyers and normal advertising.

Canvassing for extra work once a small job has been agreed is another common scam, particularly for roofing work.

 For reliable tradesmen Herefordshire Council operates a trader register of local businesses.

This can be accessed on line at www.traderregister.org.uk/herefordshire. ‘No cold caller’ window stickers are also available by calling 01432 261671.