Updates

Don’t get stormed by door knockers this storm season

Queensland Government media release

As cyclones, storm surges and flooding affect large parts of Queensland leaving many homes and other buildings damaged consumers are being warned to be wary of dodgy door to door traders offering to do repair work.

Attorney General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said whether it is roof, property or home contents damage, the aftermath of severe weather can be devastating to property owners and dodgy door-to-door traders capitalise on that stress and those who need help with storm clean-up and repairs.

“The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning consumers to avoid door to door traders offering on-the-spot cheap driveway repairs, tree removal services or housing and roof repairs,” Minister Fentiman said.

“Warning signals to look out for are ‘today only’ cheap deals, demands for up-front payment or offers to drive you to the bank to get money to pay for the job. They will often pressure you to accept their offer and make it seem like they are doing you a favour.

“When the federal or state government declares a disaster situation for an area, door-to-door traders can waive the usual 10 business day cooling-off period to start on emergency repairs.

“However, this is only in situations where there is a hazard or risk to people or property if the repairs do not go ahead and even in this case door-to-door traders are not permitted to accept payment on the spot.

“In all situations, whether a disaster situation has been declared or not, residents and businesses should be cautious if an itinerant trader arrives at your door with no appropriate identification including a contractor’s licence (if applicable) and legitimate contact details.”

Residents and businesses are reminded that door-to-door traders must generally not accept payment or commence work on a property within a 10 business day cooling-off period, and consumers can cancel any agreement within this period without penalty.

Door to door traders must leave your premises if directed and must not approach any residence displaying a ‘Do Not Knock’ notice or sticker. Queensland residents can order a free sticker from the OFT website.

If you are approached by somebody you think might be an itinerant trader:

  • do not pay for anything upfront (even materials)
  • demand a quote and a receipt with the trader’s name and street address on it
  • do an internet search to check any reviews or look up the business address
  • if you can, note the registration number of the vehicle the trader is using
  • if the trader refuses to leave without being paid or demands more money, contact the Queensland Police Service

These traders are highly mobile and will mostly target rural towns, so OFT urges all residents and businesses to let family, friends and the community know to be wary about unexpected visitors. And remember if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.

It is important not to mistake itinerant traders for State Emergency Service volunteers. For further information about the services the SES can provide in an emergency visit the website.

To request a ‘Do Not Knock’ sticker, or to report an itinerant trader, contact the OFT via this website or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).