Bitumen bandits back in Rockhampton

Itinerant bitumen traders offering driveway repairs and bitumen laying services have been back targeting consumers in Rockhampton warns the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Fair Trading Commissioner Victoria Thomsonis advising residents and businesses that this is the latest iteration of a long-running scam which is guaranteed to leave them disappointed.

“Itinerant bitumen layers, also known as bitumen bandits, are complete scammers and OFT have heard reports of them trying to scam residents in Kawana,” said Ms Thomson.

“The left-over bitumen story is a common tactic, but they do vary their approaches and mix and match their sales pitches.

“Sometimes watered-down bitumen is laid on ungraded or poorly graded ground and consumers find themselves further out of pocket as they later have to pay another trader to have it removed and replaced.

“On other occasions, the scammers quote a low cost then a much higher payment is demanded during the work for it to be completed. Consumers are almost forced to comply because if the work isn’t finished, they can’t get their car out of the garage.

“Sometimes the scammers simply take large deposits, perform no work, and never return. There is no way to get a refund as these types of traders usually vanish.”

Rockhampton residents are reminded that door-to-door traders must generally not accept payment or commence work on a property within a 10-business day cooling-off period, and consumers can cancel any agreement within this period without penalty.

Door to door traders must leave your premises if directed and must not approach any residence displaying a 'do not knock' notice or sticker. Queensland residents can order a free sticker from the OFT website.

If you think you have seen these traders, contact the Office of Fair Trading on 13 QGOV (13 74 68) so we can track their movements and warn other consumers.