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Bitumen bandits active in Queanbeyan 

24 April 2015

Consumers in Queanbeyan and surrounding areas are being warned about travelling conmen moving through the area selling bitumen services.

Earlier this week a consumer reportedly paid up to $1000 to a trader with a Scottish accent travelling door-to-door. The customer reportedly paid cash up front to have their driveway sealed, though the job was poorly completed and the customer was left with rubble and other mess throughout their yard.

NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe said several consumers had been reportedly approached by the trader who was travelling in a white ute with NSW registration. 

“Consumers should be cautious of traders moving door-to-door offering cut-price services and products,” Mr Stowe said.

“Travelling conmen offer services that sound genuine and of a high standard, though in reality they are of poor quality and often incomplete. Customers are often left with a mess that costs more to repair. 

“Bitumen services are the most common service peddled by travelling conmen, with traders using elaborate stories to lure in and rip off consumers.”

Dodgy bitumen traders have reportedly told customers:

  • their vehicle has broken down and they need to get rid of stock
  • they have recently completed a job and they are selling the leftover product
  • they are in the area as they have just completed a big job at a neighbour’s property.  

Mr Stowe said under the Australian Consumer Law, any unsolicited agreement for services valued over $100 has a 10 day cooling off period, during which the consumer is not required to pay anything.

For work requiring a contractor’s licence, consumers can check licence details online at the Fair Trading website or call 13 32 20.

The Australian Consumer Law prohibits contractors from intimidating or threatening consumers for payment. If consumers feel threatened they should call NSW Police immediately.

Visit the Stop Travelling Conmen Facebook page and check the interactive map for reports of travelling conmen at:

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