The Isle of Wight Council’s trading standards service is warning residents of team of rogue traders who are visiting towns on the Island, offering to tarmac people’s driveways. Businesses have also been targeted with the offer to tarmac their customer car parks.
The cold callers say they are working for Island Roads and have tarmac left over from a resurfacing scheme. They often wear hi-vis jackets and baseball caps. So far, seven people are known to have paid for work to be done, with some being charged several thousand pounds.
Island Roads do not offer these type of services to the public or businesses and never cold call a business. Any materials the firm uses is accounted for and used solely across the scope of its work. The firm advises residents that if they receive a visit from someone claiming to be from Island Roads, they can contact (01983) 822440 to check if the person works for them.
Reports of the rogue traders have been received from homes and businesses in several towns over the last fortnight, including Freshwater, Newport, Ryde and Whitwell.
Commonly, cold callers are unqualified conmen or women who charge extortionate amounts of money for little or no work along with the prices being very misleading. They usually demand immediate payment.
Julie Woodhouse, Isle of Wight Council principal trading standards officer, said: “This group of cold callers are deceiving residents by using local knowledge of the roads and maintenance schemes and claiming they are working for Island Roads.
“This can be convincing to people and business owners who may not be aware that Island Roads do not offer this type of service.
“Our advice is never to accept work from cold callers, and remember the old saying that if it is too good to be true, it usually is.”
Legislation requires cold callers to give consumers a ‘cancellation notice’, giving them 14 days to cancel the contract made for any work over £42. Failure to issue a cancellation notice in the correct manner is a criminal offence. Hampshire Police have been informed of the reports and are working with trading standards. If anyone wishes to report a matter to trading standards, they can do so by calling (01983) 823371. Trading standards runs a trader approval scheme where local traders are vetted for compliance with consumer legislation. For further information on the Buy with Confidence scheme, contact (01983) 823000 or visit www.iwight.com/bwc.