The CIGA team have recently spoken to several people concerned about doorstep callers claiming to be able to assist with claims associated with incorrectly installed cavity wall insulation or disrepair.
Householders are often being encouraged to sign up for a claim, and provide personal details. In some cases, householders have been charged for ‘inspections’ on their property and had work carried out that could potentially compromise the insulation and result in their CIGA guarantee being void.
Although the promise of compensation may sound enticing, Trading Standards and CIGA would urge consumers to consider this route very carefully and thoroughly research the company offering their services.
We are aware of a number of homeowners who may have a genuine concern and have engaged with a claims company. We are also aware that in a number of cases nothing has been done to correct or report any directly attributable damage in excess of 12 months after the point of notification to the claims company.
Please be aware, where CIGA can evidence that the homeowner has been aware of a problem and CIGA has been prevented from engaging and investigating, with a view to offering a remedy, claims may be rejected on the basis that the homeowner has allowed the problem to worsen.
If you have a concern relating to cavity wall insulation contact CIGA on 01525 853300 or email email@example.com CIGA is there to protect the guarantee holder against poor workmanship and defective materials. Any issues that are identified under the guarantee will be investigated and rectified at no expense to the consumer.
Who to contact if you have concerns about a company or a cold caller
- Report them to Trading Standards by calling 03454 040506 or find your local Trading Standards office by going to gov.uk/find-local-trading-standards-office
- Contact Citizens Advice Bureau by going to citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/ where you will be able to find your local office contact details
- Contact CIGA if you’re not sure if a company is legitimate by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Advice on what to do if you answer the door to a cold caller
- Don’t invite anyone you don’t know inside your property without first checking their identification and checking their company is a legitimate business.
Remember even if they are a legitimate business it’s your house and you have no obligation to invite them inside.
- Don’t sign any documents on your doorstep, even if it’s just a quote. You shouldn’t feel pressurised into signing documentation without being able to read through it in your own time.
- Do read the small print on any documents you are asked to sign.
- Don’t hand over your personal details or any financial information, such as bank details, national insurance number or your CIGA guarantee.
- Don’t hand over any money before ensuring that they are a legitimate company or before any agreed work has started.
- Do ask for the companies’ name and details and, if you do not want their services, ask them to stop contacting you. Companies are legally obliged to cease contact if they are asked to do so.
- Don’t get taken in by sales banter and high pressure selling techniques or sign on the spot for work to be undertaken.
- Do trust your instincts – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It’s okay to say no.
Remember, it’s your doorstep and your decision. If you feel pressured for any reason, ask the person to leave.
- Do report any suspicious activity (see contact details above)
- Do contact CIGA if you are unsure how to proceed email@example.com
See below for more information on doorstep scams – Courtesy of Age UK