The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading is advising householders and businesses not to use tarmac jobbers who turn up unannounced. The OFT is aware of tarmac jobbers who are currently operating on this basis in the Island.
Potential customers approached by these traders are often persuaded to accept their offer because they initially appear to be cheaper than local traders and they can begin straightaway. Good local traders may be very busy and you may have to wait, but this is a much better option. Even if problems do occur with the, job the local traders are still here to sort things out.
Many rogue traders who cold-call not only carry out poor quality work, but also use sub-standard materials. They will often pester victims into having unnecessary work done. Any "guarantees" provided are likely to be worthless. The likelihood of them returning to put work right is minimal, unless they think that they can con more money out of their victims.
Chief Inspector of Trading Standards, John Peet offers these tips to avoid being the victim of a rogue trader:-
- Be very wary of traders who call at your house without an appointment offering to do work.
- Do NOT be pressurised into having unnecessary work done.
- If the trader is pestering you, call the police or Trading Standards on 686500 for advice.
- Ask for time to think about it before you decide to go ahead with any work – many householders change their minds on reflection when the trader has gone away.
- Do NOT fall for patter such as "We've got some tarmac left over from a big job" or "We're doing the B roads for Government".
- Take the time to obtain at least two further quotes – be wary if the quote from the cold-caller is significantly cheaper than the others.
- Do NOT part with a significant amount of cash up front.
- Ask for a written breakdown of the work to be carried out – don't settle for vague written statements, e.g. "tarmac drive".