Visiting traders are still having to be reminded by the OFT of the laws on the Island which ban cold calling. It is illegal to cold call, either in person or on the phone in the Isle of Man.
The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading is reminding people to be vigilant, not to employ traders who make unsolicited visits to their homes offering to do home improvements and to keep a look out on behalf of vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours who may fall victim.
Householders approached by traders operating in this unsolicited way are often persuaded to accept their offer because they initially appear to be cheaper than genuine traders and can begin work straightaway. They 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. 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. 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. Friends, neighbours and relatives of the elderly and vulnerable should make them aware of the advice offered below, as there is no doubt that the most unscrupulous traders target the elderly and vulnerable as potential victims.
Head of Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading, John Peet offers these tips to avoid being the victim of a rogue trader:
- Do not deal with 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 a trader is pestering you for work, call Trading Standards on the number below, or the police.
If a householder is concerned that they may have already fallen foul of a rogue trader, they should contact Trading Standards on +44 1624 686520.