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‘Bitumen Bandits’ alert for Perth’s hills

Issue Date: Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Consumer Protection has received reports from residents in Gooseberry Hill and Serpentine that so-called “Bitumen Bandits” are operating in their area.

Consumers report being approached by workmen offering to lay bitumen driveways at what they claim are bargain prices. None of the consumers took up their offer.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll is warning WA homeowners not to deal with these itinerant traders.

“These traders use high pressure sales pitches, claiming to have material left over from another job down the street, to get consumers to agree to have their driveways bituminised at supposedly low cost,” Ms Driscoll said.

“The cost of the job is often more than it’s worth and the work is usually sub-standard. It’s also difficult to track down these traders for a refund or to make a warranty claim if the consumer is not satisfied. Bitumen Bandits are also breaking consumer law by not observing a ten day cooling off period for unsolicited sales.

“We are also concerned that these people often target vulnerable consumers such as Seniors in our community. In the past, some elderly people have been intimidated into being driven to their banks to get the cash.”

Consumers who are approached by itinerant tradesmen offering on-the-spot jobs for cash should immediately say no and call a national hotline number 1300 133 408.

Information such as vehicle registration numbers or business details would be useful.

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Media Contact: Alan Hynd 9282 0961 or 0429-078791  alan.hynd@commerce.wa.gov.au