Buyer Beware – RTE1 – Review

I only made it home in time last Thursday to catch the 2nd half of the new Buyer Beware programme. That section of it looked at some dodgy tradespersons who seem to have scammed a whole neighbourhood in west Dublin (I gathered) by installing second rate guttering.

The show came across as essentially “Joe Duffy but on the TV” – people futilely complaining about stuff with a “somebody should do something” feel about it. The people concerned, unfortunately for them, fell foul of a scam that is well known and easily identifiable.

Invoices without letterheads and only mobile numbers as contacts are well known signs that you should be on your guard. Given how hard it used to be to find a tradesperson to do any work in the last few years, having tradesmen actually calling to your door offering to do work should have been immediately suspicious.

I can’t top the review from Pat Stacey in the Evening Herald on Friday morning:

Since the gardai are currently powerless to do anything about it, the programme ultimately had a half-hearted feel and you couldn’t help thinking that if some people are gullible enough to fall for such obvious scams, they can’t complain.

For future reference, our Top Tips on Hiring a Tradesperson is available here, plus this article from the You And Your Money magazine might help you to not get caught out like our west Dublin friends with the gutters.

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5 Responses to Buyer Beware – RTE1 – Review

  1. Anne November 11, 2008 at 21:06 #

    I thought the bit about the scam charities was interesting. I never leave stuff out for the fake ones – its obvious which ones are fake – only mobile nos etc but i didn’t know they took genuine charities bags or robbed Clothes Banks. Cant understand why there is nothing the law can do.

    Will the new charities Bill help the situation.

    I also think some people just like to have someone to take away their unwanted goods for nothing and dont care whether the charity is genuine or not.

  2. valueireland November 11, 2008 at 21:46 #

    Thanks Anne. As I said, I hadn’t seen that section – my comments were based on the 2nd half of the programme.

    From my perspective, I think it might be an idea to never leave stuff out for any organisation. If you do have some stuff you want to give charity, the best way to make sure it goes directly where you intend is to take it to the charity shops or offices themselves.

    As far as I know, no legitimate charities leave bags in houses for stuff to be left outside your door.

    As you say though, for some people, it can be cheaper to get rid of junk using these bags instead of paying for proper disposal. Unfortunately though, its quite likely that if the bogus charity collectors find stuff in the bags that they’ve no need for, the junk will end up on the side of the road somewhere, not even going to a bogus charity.

  3. Pia November 12, 2008 at 15:56 #

    I would just like to correct you on what you said about no genuine charities doing house-to-house collections. This is not true. A large number of even the largest charities raise funds this way. Some charities do it themselves, others hire professional collection agents to do it for them, such as Clothes Aid and I & G Cohen. However way they do it, the profits do go to the charity.

    What is important to look for is a charity registration number and whether the contact details seem genuine (like Anne said, what professional charity would just leave a mobile number). Also, if the leaflet or bag put through your door isn’t specific about what the money go to (i.e. just saying that it’s for “Third World”, “the Poor”, etc.), then don’t donate.

    Hope this helps 🙂

  4. valueireland November 15, 2008 at 01:33 #

    @Pia – Thanks for your comment, and I stand corrected. Do these charities actually operate in Ireland – they look like UK only charities to me.
    It does strike me as strange though that any charity in Ireland would still collect in this way given the prevalence of scam collectors. It must be hard to stand out as legitimate from the hordes of scammers.

  5. Patrick December 4, 2008 at 21:08 #

    The item on the removal of the M50 toll baiers by Philip Boucher-Hayes was misleading because of the ongoing improvement works, both North and South of the Bridge. Mr Boucher-Hayes never mentioned this fact. The carriageway particularly that North of the Bridge has been affected quite badly by the ongoing works since late Autumn and any measure of Traffic flows such as that done on the programme was, I believe seriously misleading.

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