Anyone been scammed by Gutter Cleaners?

salar

Registered User
Messages
4
I've just had three guys call to the door that offered to clean my gutters. One of them got upon the roof and started pulling out the tiles while I was watching. He offered to do a "proper" job for €150. They had a professional looking brochure which said they were in the Golden Pages. They also had a landline number and a mobile number but no address on the flyer. They also had shirts with their company name on it. They looked a professional outfit except they did not have any logo on their company van, a blue Transit.
I couldn't believe how quick they were to get up on the roof and start pulling out the tiles before I could say anything. I told them to get down and I wanted somebody else to have a look at the roof. They started saying that "The boss won't like that" and were fairly intimidating.
I notice these guys come out in the hot weather when people have their windows open so if the neighbours see men up ladders they wont get suspicious after all they are only cleaning the gutters and they called in earlier.
I called the Gardaí but they didn't seem that interested although they took the reg number of the van.
 

Seagull

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,266
Why would they be pulling tiles out if they're supposed to clean the gutters? Sounds like they're damaging the roof.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
12,022
Why would they be pulling tiles out if they're supposed to clean the gutters? Sounds like they're damaging the roof.
It's an old scam, they pull a few tiles out, tell you there's some damage and offer to fix it for you for a few hundred.
 

salar

Registered User
Messages
4
It was a blue transit alright. The guy that approached me was well spoken and had his "company" logo on his shirt. That's what took me in.
As I was saying, they seem to come out in the hot weather when people have their windows open so if the neighbours see a ladder against a wall they think someone is getting their gutters cleaned and they will probably get into the house that way.
I'm going to get a wireless intercom with a camera so I can see who's at the door without having to open it. They are for sale on a big internet retailer starting at about €100. Anyone living on their own might be interested in getting one. They are easy to install and the monitor can be taken anywhere in the house.
 

Bronte

Frequent Poster
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13,918
Salar I think it is a very good idea for you to get the camera. Next time anyone like that calls around and gets on your roof I would call the gardai. That is the only response to crooks, especially low life crooks who target elderly people.

Good advice you've given about ladders against walls as well. People have to watch out for each other.
 

Woodie

Frequent Poster
Messages
467
This scam was on Watchdog or Rogue Traders can't remember which where the guys went up and removed some tiles or claimed damage then slapped a bit of cement in a bucket collecting 300 quid in the process. Lesson - don't allow anyone into your home or onto your property cold calling without a backup reference or better two references.
I am able to do most handy jobs but hate ladders. In fact I was overcharged [scammed] out of 300 quid just for cleaning gutters in the boom times by someone recommended. Thankfully now I know better and have an honest handyman.
 

joeysully

Frequent Poster
Messages
283
I would save your €100 and just open the door to people you know are calling and ignore anyone you don't recognize. Have a special door bell ring for people you know. Its not rude to not answer your door bell, its your door. When was the last time a stranger called offering you money? they only call looking to extract money from you.
 

Leper

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,356
This has the hallmark of being a scam that could have gone more wrong if it were left go ahead.

Cleaning gutters is no big deal provided you take some precautions:-

1. Use a good ladder that is higher than the gutters (you can rent one). A single ladder is best. Extended ladders tend to shake.
2. Know how to use the ladder safely (minimum 3 points of contact).
3. Have somebody support the ladder while you are working.
3. Use working gloves and perhaps a thin trowel and a small brush. The brush is to be used to sweep out remaining silt.
4. Use a light bucket in which you can place the sods and silt. A heavy bucket is dangerous.
5. Clean outside of gutters with a damp cloth.
6. Remove any marks from the wall and most important now clean your windows.
7. Once finished with ladder store on its side. Don't leave it resting on gutters.
 

Peanuts20

Registered User
Messages
245
never use the guys who come calling to your door, no doubt there may be some genuines ones looking for business but you've no idea if they are insured or anything. What you've described here is a well known scam, especially targetted at the elderly and vulnerable
 

Leper

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,356
I'd say leave the thread stand as there are many scammers around especially this time of year.
 
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