Farmers in Eden are being warned to be cautious of rogue traders offering to resurface roads at rock-bottom prices.
Trading Standards are warning that “bogus workers are doing the rounds with plausible stories” to repair roads. It comes after at least two farms were targeted north of the County.
The itinerant workers approach farmers saying they have been resurfacing roads in the area and have leftover tar. In both cases local roads were closed as the Highways service was repairing the road.
One farmer advised a well-spoken worker, wearing a yellow Hi-Viz jacket visited his farm offering to tarmac holes on the lane to his farm. When they agreed for a price of £300 he left and returned with other men in wagon with the words “Hot Tar Services” written on it.
The rogue workers completed about 20ft of work before the farmer asked them to stop.
The man then demanded £1,500 in cash and said they would return to collect the money. However, the famer advised he would only pay £300 and explained he would contact Trading Standards; the man accepted the money and left in a hurry.
The farmer described the work as a “complete mess” and believes the lane will require a further repair. He added “It’s a warning that needs to go out to Cumbrian farmers”.
“I’m sure they go around the county and target farmers all over the place.”
The farmer then contacted Trading Standards to warn others.
A spokesman for Cumbria County Council Trading Standards team said: “We would strongly urge farmers, other rural business owners and residents not to allow them to be pressured into agreeing to work on the doorstep”. If you require farm road repairs ask around for quotes and consider using a local trader who has been recommended by others.
If you or someone you know is faced with cold callers please contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk or you can contact the Police on 101.