Consumers warned to be wary of added building fees

British consumers have been warned to be wary of builders who might seek to overcharge for the work they carry out.

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment suggests that vigilance on the part of consumers could help them avoid unscrupulous trading that could cost them extra cash.

By insisting on drawing up a contract specifying payment criteria consumers could save themselves added financial headaches and the potential to be driven further into debt management trouble, according to the department.

“Be suspicious if you are suddenly being charged for extra expenses. If you have agreed a price beforehand, you should not have to pay for ‘extras’,” said Stephen Thompson, manager of the Trading Standards’ consumer complaint helpline.

“Sometimes unexpected extra work will be needed, but agree the additional costs in writing before any extra work starts.”

The typical household in the UK has more than £8,800 in personal loan and credit card debt outstanding, according to figures from Credit Action.

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