Council warning over driveway con
Hertfordshire Highways has issued a warning about a driveway con operating in the area.
Workmen, often wearing yellow jackets and carrying clipboards, have been calling at homes offering to resurface drives with tarmac left over from nearby roadworks.
Herts says these contractors are not connected with the authority and material left over from roadworks is never disposed of in this way.
The doorstep callers have also been offering to build dropped kerbs for local residents, but Herts says such work cannot be done without council approval.
"We would like to make it clear that these callers are nothing to do with us - our own approved sub contractors would not approach householders in this way," a council spokesperson said.
"Although we wouldn’t want to brand all doorstep traders as rogues, we would advise householders to be on their guard if they are approached by people offering to do driveways or other work. If the people concerned become persistent or aggressive then householders should call the police," he said.
Another council spokesperson said people can easily be pressurised into having work done by engaging in a conversation with this type of doorstep seller.
The advice is to say a firm ‘no thank you’. If you don’t they might start work anyway, before you have even had a chance to think about it.
The authority says people should not risk having work done when they don't know who they are dealing with. The authority says that in its experience the work is often shoddy, overpriced and the people are impossible to contact afterwards.
If Hertfordshire Highways is planning any substantial footway repairs it notifies local residents in advance by letter. The letters may invite residents to apply to have dropped kerbs put in while the work is being done, but this does not involve any ‘cold calling’. The letters always include named contacts for further information.
In view of the problem with cold callers Hertfordshire Highways will now be adding a paragraph advising residents not to engage with uninvited callers who offer to tarmac their drives.
East of England Trading Standards Authorities have set up a special doorstep hotline. People concerned about doorstep callers should ring 0845 60 444 66.
If you want to report any problems involving people claiming to be highway contractors you can contact Hertfordshire Highways on 01438 737320/01923 471320.
If you have been threatened you should contact the local police community team on 01707-638112.
13 August 2003