Council asks residents to be on doorstep alert for rogue traders

Published : 16/05/2012 00:00

Council asks residents to be on doorstep alert for rogue traders

Residents are being asked to be vigilant for rogue companies claiming to represent the council’s free insulation scheme.

With such a great scheme on offer, businesses are trying to use the Wrap Up Leeds name and its association with the council for their own means.

Wrap Up Leeds offers free loft and cavity wall insulation to home owners and people renting privately in Leeds. The team are aware of at least three companies who have been using the scheme’s good name to try to drum up business for themselves.

Energy assessors, going door-to-door, work for Yorkshire Energy Services who are delivering the scheme on the council’s behalf. Three contractors – Homecare, Viscount and Dysons – are installing insulation in suitable homes. No other company is entitled to claim they are working in conjunction with Leeds City Council through the Wrap Up Leeds scheme.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services said:

“It’s disappointing that some less scrupulous organisations are trying to hang on to the coat tails of our great scheme for their own profit. They put the majority of trustworthy businesses who work in the energy efficiency industry to shame.

“There is a clear set of criteria that residents should check to make sure that someone at their door is from Wrap Up Leeds. The assessors are a friendly, knowledgeable bunch and they won’t go for the hard sell or try any bully boy tactics.

Councillor David Blackburn, chair of the council’s cross-party environment and climate change working group said:

“I sincerely hope that the misguided actions of a few won’t put people off contacting us as we have a genuine desire to help people cut their fuel bills and carbon emissions.

“But if anyone is in any doubt they can contact us to verify that the person at their door is part of our team.”

The Wrap Up Leeds assessors are only knocking on doors in certain streets in particular wards, where the available information on fuel poverty and the types of houses suggests that free insulation will have the highest impact.

The handpicked homes will receive an official Wrap Up Leeds letter to let them know when the assessors will be in their area and ask residents to look out for them.

If anyone knocks on your door claiming to be from Wrap Up Leeds and you haven’t received a letter beforehand, then the person at your door is unlikely to come from the Wrap Up Leeds team.

The Wrap Up Leeds assessors are easily identifiable in their distinctive burgundy uniforms that show the Wrap Up Leeds logo and all assessors carry official identification too.

They will use their hand held electronic devices to take a few details about you and your home from a list of set questions after showing you a copy of the letter you should have already received. They’ll also leave you a leaflet explaining what happens next.

If you are concerned about the identity of anyone at your door, you can call the Wrap Up Leeds team to check that the person is working on our behalf. Genuine Wrap Up Leeds assessors won’t mind if you do.

To check the identity of an assessor call 0800 052 0071. This number is free from most landline providers, but may not be free from mobile networks. If you would prefer, please call 01484 351 779.

The Wrap Up Leeds team are not cold calling anyone at home by phone. Only people who have registered their interest with us will be contacted on their preferred telephone number.

If it becomes apparent that someone at your door is not from the Wrap Up Leeds team but are claiming to, you should try to get as much information from that person as you can and note the time of the incident. You can then report this to Leeds City Council on 0113 395 7159. We’ll work with Consumer Direct to resolve any complaints.