Beware of Insulation Cowboys

Added on Thursday 21 Jun 2012

Trading standards officers have issued a warning to West End householders about the potential danger of dealing with firms which claim to be working with the local council to provide free loft insulation.

"Cowboys" claiming to represent the council are raking in thousands of pounds from people by advertising a real scheme to give people free cavity wall insulation - before selling them extra services.

They've been operating right along Clydeside, from Dumbarton to Glasgow City Centre, and scores of local householders may already have fallen for their highly convincing sales pitch.

A trading standards spokesman said: "There are reports that, after people have agreed to the free service, they are given a hard-sell to buy additional services, such as more insulation."

A Dowanhill householder told West End News: "I thought from what they told me on the phone that they were actually from the council - but they're nothing of the kind.

"I've been told by Trading Standards that the golden rule is never to accept any kind of sales approach by 'phone or email unless you're absolutely sure who's involved."

She added: "I was lucky enough to see through what amounts to a scam, but I worry about vulnerable older people who may assume everything's ok - and sign an expensive deal for something they don't really need."

Meanwhile the real free service is genuinely available.

A housing energy advice officer said: "We are contacting householders throughout the area offering this excellent, free service and arranging for the work to be carried out.

"Whether a property is suitable will depend on a number of factors and I would encourage residents to contact the Energy Saving Scotland Advice Centre 0800 512 012 to arrange a survey and find out if you can have additional insulation measures installed to your property."