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Media releases
5 August 2014

The State’s consumer watchdog has issued a public warning about travelling conmen offering door-to-door services in suburban Adelaide.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, Dini Soulio, says complaints have been received about itinerant workers doing substandard roof and driveway repairs in suburban Adelaide.

“Investigators from Consumer and Business Services (CBS) have attended houses in the Taperoo area, where the conmen were offering their services,” Mr Soulio said.

“Residents have complained that concrete repairs and painting of the roof tiles was substandard, with concrete washing off in the rain and roofs leaking.

“There have been similar reports about poor quality driveway painting, as well as aggressive sales techniques and demands for money.

“In this particular sighting, the unidentified conmen, with Irish accents were knocking door-to-door, offering the work.

“They are handing out a flyer promoting a company called PMH Home Improvements.

“We are told they were driving a dual-cab Great Wall SA220 ute with Queensland registration ‘037 TSF’.

“Witnesses say there were three men, including one calling himself Patrick and another called Dean.

“CBS has obtained images of the men and is working to try to locate the individuals, as well as alerting interstate authorities about these scammers.

“The nature of these unscrupulous individuals is to move across State and Territory borders, taking advantage of consumers and remaining undetected by authorities.

“Travelling conmen are notorious for providing poor quality or incomplete jobs then disappearing or providing false contact information.

“This leaves the unsuspecting consumer with no ability to seek restitution for the dodgy work and subsequently they are left out of pocket and have to have the job completed or fixed.

“Jobs such as roof painting and back of truck deals on electrical goods are also common scams of travelling conmen.

“Residents in the North-Western suburbs are strongly urged to avoid dealing with these rogue traders.
“Under Australian Consumer Law consumers are entitled to warranty, repair, refund or replacement in the event of a problem arising.

“There are also provisions in place for door-to-door trading. Consumers are entitled to a ten-day cooling off period in which the trader cannot provide any goods or services or accept any payment for transactions over $100.

“Residents are entitled to ask door knockers to leave and those who do not comply are breaking the law.

“Travelling conmen work in direct breach of these laws.

“This serves as a timely reminder for consumers to use licensed and reputable tradespeople. Do your homework before engaging a tradesperson and check that they are licensed to do the job using the online CBS licensing register.”

South Australians who have any information about travelling conmen are encouraged contact CBS on 131 882. More information is available on the national Stop Travelling Conmen Facebook page.