South Ayrshire Council is issuing a warning to householders in the local area, as they suspect a rogue building and roofing gang is operating in the area.
The warning comes after one consumer was intimidated into paying over £5,000 in cash for the repair of just a few loose slates on her roof.
The elderly Ayr consumer, who lives alone, says she was ‘cold-called’ by the gang’s front-man who claimed to be working on another house on the same street. He advised her that her roof had ‘a few slates loose,’ but they could fix it that same day.
No price was agreed, but after a few hours work, the trader demanded £2500 in cash to ‘pay his boys’. The consumer felt she had no option but to pay, but when she was later informed that further roof sealing work was required - she refused.
She alleges the roofers then returned when she was not home and carried out further repairs and maintenance - this time demanding another £2,700.
The workmen allegedly surrounded her in an intimidating manner, and she felt there was no option but to return to the bank to again pay in cash.
The case is now being investigated, but the council is warning people, especially the elderly or vulnerable, to be on the look-out for the rogue outfit.
Councillor Peter Convery said: “It is absolutely despicable that elderly and vulnerable residents are targeted in this way and we will do everything in our power to bring those responsible to justice. We understand there are four people involved, including two younger boys. We believe they travel in a white van and a small silver car.
“The paperwork they use is bogus, containing the name and logo of another trader in another part of the country. We suspect these numbers are a ‘front’ and divert to a ‘pay as you go’ mobile phone.
The group also do not give consumers the seven day cooling-off period required for such ‘doorstep’ contracts – which is also a criminal offence.”
South Ayrshire Council is urging local people to be on their guard if someone shows up at their door to do ‘necessary’ building work, especially if they appear keen to do it right away with little paperwork or information.
South Ayrshire Council is urging anyone who may have information in relation to this rogue gang to get in touch with them on 01292 616060 or speak to an advisor at 5/7 River Terrace Ayr.