There are no guarantees when you’re hiring a tradesperson for your jobs. Sometimes, even after you’ve done your homework to ensure a tradesman is vetted and even if they’ve come with a glowing review from a trusted friend, you may find you’re dissatisfied with the work provided.
While these situations can be incredibly frustrating, it’s important to remember there are official procedures in place in Malta that are designed to help you as a consumer.
So, if you’re unhappy with any work or services carried out in your home, you can follow the following steps to better protect yourself and resolve the issue:
Use a verified tradesperson listed on Check Your Traders
The best way to avoid an unprofessional tradesman from the start is to hire a verified tradesperson listed on our platform. That’s because we carry out a thorough verification process on each of our traders to ensure they offer quality service, fair pricing, and excellent workmanship. You can even read through the genuine reviews and ratings left by past customers to get a better insight into which tradesman is right for your job. All this information will help you hire a genuine professional and enjoy a smooth process from beginning to end.
Protect yourself by being prepared
At the start of any project with a tradesman, be sure to have all agreements in writing. This will ensure you have all the important information – such as sales contracts, costs, timelines, promise of works to be completed – in hand should you ever need to lodge a complaint down the line.
It’s also a good idea to keep photographic evidence of works, especially if you are concerned about how they’re progressing. If anything looks suspicious or not up to scratch, a simple photograph is the best way to record these problems. Such photographs will come in useful should you need to provide evidence to an outside organisation to settle a dispute.
Approach the tradesperson directly
In case of a dispute with a tradesperson, it’s always recommended to first speak to them directly before escalating the issue further. Express your grievances as calmly as possible and request that they rectify the situation. Here, you can also rely on your saved documentation and photographs to clarify any issues. If you are dealing with a truly professional tradesperson, they should recognise that their reputation is everything. An unsatisfied customer is bad news for a tradesperson as it will more than likely affect their business negatively. So, you may find they’ll be willing to find a solution to the situation as quickly as possible.
Provide the tradesperson with an opportunity to resolve issue
Following a verbal complaint, the tradesperson is usually allowed a reasonable amount of time to resolve the issue. Should the tradesperson not comply within a few weeks, then you should submit a formal complaint in writing which details the exact specifications of the task in question, your grievances with the works, and how you feel the issue should be reasonably and satisfactorily resolved.
Written complaints should be sent via registered mail to the tradesperson’s official business address. Ideally post the complaint as a signed for delivery letter, which will let you know your mail has been safely received.
Alternatively, you can send complaints to the tradesperson’s business email address. Check if your email provider offers the option to use a send/receipt notification. This will notify you when the trader opens the email, providing you with proof that they’ve seen the complaint. Keep in mind that any written complaints must be sent within two months from when you first realised there was issue with works or services.
Lodge an official complaint with the MCCAA
If you find that the tradesperson is ignoring your complaints or is unwilling to resolve the issue, then it’s time to escalate the situation. Locally, consumer complaints can be filed with the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA) which was set up to safeguard consumers’ interests and promote sound business standards in the local market.
There are various ways to lodge a complaint with the MCCAA:
Visit the MCCAA in person – You can submit your written complaint in person at one of the MCCAA’s offices in Blata l-Bajda, Valletta, or in Xewkija, Gozo.
By mail – You can send your written complaint to the Director, Complaints and Conciliation Directorate, Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority, Mizzi House, National Road, Blata l-Bajda, HMR 9010.
Email – You can send an email complaint to email@example.com
Online – You can even lodge a complaint via the MCCAA’s Online Form
To ensure you don’t experience any delays in the process, you should include the following documents and information along with your complaint:
Details of the case;
Copies of all relevant documentation, such as copies of receipts, sales contract, and guarantees;
Your I.D. Number;
Your address and contact numbers;
The trader’s details and contact numbers.
You must also make a statement in your email/letter giving consent to the MCCAA to divulge your details to the trader/entity involved in your case following the Data Protection Act.
Once the MCCAA has received and evaluated your complaint, you’ll be appointed an official complaints officer to oversee your case with your tradesperson. The officer will do all they can to reach an amicable resolution between yourself and the tradesperson. However, should no agreements with the trader be reached within 10 working days, the officer will guide you on the options available to you going forward, including how to take your case to the Consumer Claims Tribunal.
Leaving a review on Check Your Traders
Should you ever have a bad experience with a local tradesperson, you can really help your fellow consumers by leaving a review on Check Your Traders. Both your positive and negative feedback will provide other consumers with insight into your experience, allowing them to make more informed decisions about who they hire to carry out their jobs. Should we see that a tradesperson listed on our site is not abiding by our standards, we will even remove their listing from our platform.
With your help and through your reviews, we can help create a better system of accountability in Malta, ensuring that the professionals are lauded for their quality work and excellent customer service, while the amateurs are flagged for their unprofessionalism.
Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA)
Phone: +356 2395 2000
The Check Your Traders complaints team
Phone: +356 2152 2202