THE writing is on the wall for rogue traders who fleece the old and the vulnerable by selling sub-standard goods and services.
New regulations have just come into force which gives victims the right of redress if they are harassed into buying home improvements or similar services by door-to-door salesmen.
Under these new regulations, announced by Consumer Minister Jo Swinson, consumers who have fallen victim to unscrupulous traders will have greater powers to challenge them and get their money back under these new rights.
People who are tricked or misled into buying services or goods they don't want or need will have up to 90 days to take legal action.
The new regulations will help those who are harassed into home improvements by door-to-door salesmen, for example, or are pressured into purchasing a mobile phone by false promises on download speeds and network coverage.
Elderly people are particularly vulnerable, with National Audit Office figures showing that those over the age of 55 lose an average of nearly £1,100 when they are victims of rogue traders.
The crime reporting agency Action Fraud estimates that consumers lose out by least £6.6bn every year due to unfair trading.
Jo Swinson said: “The vast majority of businesses treat consumers fairly and provide a great service. However, a few bad apples have damaged the reputation of good business, broken the law and treated customers as a cash cow.
“This is why we are providing consumers with new powers to challenge rogue businesses and giving people the confidence to take action.”