Householders beware: a warning from the Office of Fair Trading
The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading warns not to use traders who make unsolicited visits to your home offering to do home improvements, without checking them out first.
The OFT is aware of itinerant traders who are currently operating on this basis in the Island.
Householders 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 work straightaway. The traders can be very persistent offering ‘special deals’ and will not readily take no for an answer.
Many rogue traders who cold-call not only carry out poor quality work, but also use sub-standard materials. Any “guarantees” provided are likely to be worthless. They will often pester householders into having unnecessary work done and have even been known to take their victims to the bank to secure payment.
The likelihood of them returning to put work right is minimal unless they think that they can con more money out of their victims. Friends, neighbours and relatives of the elderly should make them aware of the advice offered below as there is no doubt that the most unscrupulous target the elderly and vulnerable as potential 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
• Do NOT fall for patter such as “We’ve got some tarmac left over from a big job”
• Do NOT part with a significant amount of cash up front.
If the trader is pestering you, call the police or Trading Standards on 686520 for advice. If a householder is concerned that they may have fallen foul of a rogue trader, they should contact the Office’s Trading Standards staff on 686520.