Page 3 - CP Supp Trading Aug11 2017
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nesses win with

me How to avoid problems

Planning                                                                              Draw up a short list of three or four firms that appear reliable, checking
                                                                                   experiences of previous clients.
Make a plan of what you want done. Don’t be pressured into unnecessary
work you cannot afford. For large or complex jobs, professional advice may         Trade associations
well be needed.
                                                                                   Find out if the contractor claims to be a member of a trade association.This
   Get the necessary consents or agreements from the IW Council and an             may give you extra security, as some associations have protection schemes,
insurance company. Discuss your plans with your neighbours, particularly if        or will help to resolve disputes. It is important to check with the trade
there are any party structures.                                                    association that the trader is a current member and what protection they
                                                                                   offer for consumers who use their members.
Short-listing contractors
                                                                                   Estimates and quotations
This is probably the most important step of all. Ask friends, neighbours, local
traders and relevant trade associations, who have experience of the type of        Insist on being given a clear, written price for the work described, this is
work you want done, if they know of reliable contractors.                          known as a quotation. It differs from an estimate which is a rough price and
                                                                                   not binding. Quotations should state whether VAT is included.The quotation
   Look for established contractors with premises you can visit. Beware of         should give a detailed job specification with itemised pricing to enable you to
‘trade’ cards or flyers which come through your door, particularly those           compare price and conditions.
bearing only a telephone number.


Do not rely on a handshake                                                         Disputes

Always get a written contract covering all details of your agreement, notably      Disputes can arise over matters, such as poor workmanship, delays, the
the work to be done, price, start and completion dates, stage payments and         cost of extra work done and materials. Under the Consumer Rights Act
retention periods and the position on any delays where time has been made          2015, you are entitled to expect the following standards from a trader:
part of the contract.
                                                                                   Quality of work
Cancelling contracts
                                                                                   A service must be carried out with reasonable care and skill.The main
Once you have signed a contract it is a legally binding document on both           contractor is responsible for the work of any sub-contractor.
parties. However, in instances where the contract was entered into in your
home or place of work, and for some credit agreements, it is possible to change    Time taken
your mind. Contact the Trading Standards service for advice as to your cancella-
tion rights.                                                                       If a trader did not set a date, the law says the work must be finished in a
                                                                                   reasonable time. If you did agree a completion date and the trader fails to com-
Guarantees                                                                         plete by that date, the contract may be broken and you may be entitled to
                                                                                   compensation all depending on the circumstances.
Find out whether the work or products used carry a guarantee. In some
instances, an insurance-backed scheme may be available, which provides             Cost
protection if a contractor ceases trading.
                                                                                   If a price for the work was not agreed at the outset, the law says that the
  Guarantees which are provided free of charge that cover goods supplied           trader should make a reasonable charge.You can find out what is reasonable
under the contract you enter into may be legally enforceable. However, note        by asking other traders or by consulting the relevant trade association. If a
that any guarantee is always in addition to your statutory rights given by the     firm price or fixed hourly rate was agreed then you are bound by it.
Consumer Rights Act 2015. Make sure you read the terms and conditions of a
guarantee fully, so you are aware of what is being offered.                        Materials

Deposits                                                                           Any materials supplied as part of the contract must be as described by the
                                                                                   contractor and be of satisfactory quality.
Some businesses are happy to begin work without asking for a deposit. How-
ever, quite often, if the value of the work is high, a deposit may be              If things go wrong
requested. Paying in advance carries a risk – if the business ceases to trade
or disappears, your money may not be recovered.                                    If problems develop there are a number of steps you should take.You can
                                                                                   call the National Advice Line, on 0345 4040506, where you can get
   You should never pay a deposit if you do not know the name, permanent           information and advice about your rights as a consumer. Should it be
address and landline telephone number of the business you are dealing with.        necessary, the service may also pass the details on to Trading Standards.
                                                                                   You can also visit
Extra protection
                                                                                   If your complaint is with an IW Council Trading Standards Approved
If the total contract price is between £100 and £30,000, and is financed using     member, you can complain by telephone on 01983 823000 or e-mail
a credit card, you will be able to pursue any claim for breach of contract or      on [email protected]
misrepresentation against the finance provider, as well as against the trader.
In order to receive this protection, a deposit paid in this way must exceed £100.

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