Consumers warned to brush-off dodgy painters

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The Commissioner for Consumer Protection and the Building Commissioner have issued a joint alert after receiving reports of unregistered house painters operating in the Perth metropolitan area.

Consumers have reported being approached by door-to-door workmen offering to paint their roof or driveway.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll says homeowners should refuse to do business with these dodgy traders and report the incident.

“Consumers are warned to steer clear of dealing with any person knocking on their door out-of-the-blue claiming to be a registered painter,” Ms Driscoll said.

“Anyone who comes into contact with itinerant traders offering on-the-spot jobs is urged to report the incident to the national travelling conmen hotline.”

Investigations so far have taken inspectors to suburbs including Thornlie and Mt Nasura and indicate the workmen in question are travelling conmen.

“The workmen do not appear to be registered painters as required by law; they are not abiding by the door-to-door trading laws; the business name they give potential customers is not registered; and their address details seem to be bogus,” Ms Driscoll said.

Building Commissioner Peter Gow said a brush with these dodgy traders could leave consumers with a sub-standard and overpriced result.

“Carrying out painting work over $1000 requires a licence, so the best way for consumers to protect themselves from dodgy painters is to ask to see their accreditation and independently verify it before agreeing to any major work on their property,” Mr Gow said.

“This will ensure that minimum standards are maintained and that suitably qualified people are carrying out work that complies with the relevant regulations.

“Often what these dodgy itinerant tradesmen are offering is overpriced and sub-standard work. They are difficult to track down for a refund or to make a warranty claim if you’re not satisfied and are breaking consumer law by not observing a 10-day cooling off period for unsolicited sales.”

To report an incident call the national travelling conmen hotline on 1300 133 408. Information such as vehicle registration numbers, descriptions of the itinerant traders and names or business details given would be very useful. Government of Western Australia


The national Stop travelling conmen campaign was launched in October 2011 in response to a growing number of scams involving bitumen laying, roof painting and back of van deals on electrical goods.

Travelling con men typically use State and Territory borders to escape detection by authorities, which is why the Australian State and Territory consumer protection agencies joined forces to raise public awareness.

Social media is playing a key role in the strategy with the creation of a Facebook page, Stoptravellingconmen, which includes an interactive map to see where incidents are being reported and the types of scams.

The hotline number is 1300 133 408 and consumers are also encouraged to alert local police.

(Consumer Protection and the Building Commission are divisions of the Department of Commerce)

Media Contacts:
Alina Cavanagh, Consumer Protection 9282 0679 or 0423 846 397

Amanda Iannuzzi, Building Commission 9476 1335 or 0407 448 239

Building Commission
Media release
14 Nov 2012

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