The State’s consumer watchdog has today issued an urgent warning to South Australians - do not deal with itinerant bitumen layers.
Deputy Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio said Consumer and Business Services (CBS) has recently received reports of itinerant traders operating in the Riverland area, offering bitumen laying services to local businesses.
“We have received reports that two unidentified men, with English or Irish accents, approached businesses claiming to have bitumen leftover from a previous job and offering to lay bitumen for driveways or car parks for cash,” the Deputy Commissioner said.
“Two local businesses engaged with these dodgy bitumen workers, who delivered unsatisfactory work.
“One of the vehicles identified was a small tray top truck fitted with a black canopy and Victorian licence plates.
“Bitumen layers are required to be licensed under the Building Work Contractors Act. It is suspected that these individuals are unlicensed.
“Travelling conmen who offer to perform unsolicited work, such as bitumen laying, are notorious for producing poor quality or unfinished work and using substandard materials. They are known for providing false contact information and disappearing before jobs are complete. This leaves the unsuspecting consumer with no means of resolution through repair, replacement or refund, which they are entitled to under Australian Consumer Law.
“The nature of itinerant traders is to frequently move from town to town and across State and Territory borders, trying to remain undetected from authorities. Consumers across South Australia should be alert and avoid dealing with these unscrupulous individuals.
“They operate in direct violation of the law as they fail to meet the provisions of door-to- door trading. Consumers are entitled to a ten-day cooling off period for these uninvited offers, during which time the trader cannot provide any goods or services or accept any payment for transactions over $100.
“Consumers are entitled to ask door knockers to leave and are advised not to hand over any money.
“This comes as a timely reminder to consumers to shop around and use licensed and tradespeople. Before engaging with a trader, check that they are licensed to complete the job by using the online CBS licensing register,” Mr Soulio said.
South Australians who have any information about these travelling conmen are encouraged contact CBS on 131 882.