Beware rogue gardening services

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Trading Standards is warning residents to beware of rogue traders offering tree and gardening services on behalf of Cambridgeshire garden centres when in fact there is no connection with these reputable businesses.

These rogues have been leafleting Cambridgeshire residents, using the garden centre trading names on the leaflets and providing false trading addresses.

Nikki Pasek, Head of Trading Standards, said “Whilst there are a wide range of reputable, honest garden services operating in the county, unfortunately it continues to be a sector favoured by rogue traders. These rogues tend to find work by calling door to door and leafleting.

We would advise against using a trader who calls at your door. If you want to use one of the gardening services operated by a particular garden centre, contact that garden centre direct for details. Alternatively, use a gardener or handyman on our Buy with Confidence approved trader scheme, or go on recommendation from a friend or neighbour.

We would suggest that in every case you get more than one quote to ensure the price is reasonable, and ensure quotes are given in writing outlining exactly what work is included for the price. If you are at home when you agree to have the work done and it costs more than £35 you should also make sure you are given a written notice of your right to cancel within 7 days. If the work starts before the expiry of those 7 days, you should be asked to sign a consent form acknowledging that if you cancel, you will need to pay for any work done up to that point.”

Councillor Shuter “The County Council’s Trading Standards Service plays an important role, not only in protecting Cambridgeshire residents from the rogues, but also protecting local businesses. The garden centres concerned have worked hard to build a good reputation and gain the trust of their customers, and these rogues are looking to take advantage of that, potentially jeopardising their good name. It is a practice that will not be tolerated in this county.”

If you have encountered these rogues, or they are currently operating in your area, please contact Trading Standard’s advice partner, Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0845 4040506 so that the information can be referred through to Trading Standards.