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Farepak Customers - Christmas Cheer 15 December 2006

Isle of Man Newspapers will bring cheer to the local customers of the collapsed company Farepak Food and Gifts Limited with the launch of a charity fund – the Fare’s Fair appeal - specifically for those who have lost their Christmas savings due to the collapse.

The appeal will be launched by the company today in the Manx Independent and will accept cash and cheques made payable to the Isle of Man Newspapers Charity Fund. It will accept donations from individuals and companies up to 5th January 2007. Agents and individual customers of Farepak should contact the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading which has agreed to assist the newspaper by putting customers in touch with the appeal.

The Manx Co-op has kicked off the fund with a generous donation and it is hoped that other local companies will follow suit.

The Office is aware of around 20 customers who have lost money through Farepak. It estimates that average losses are in the region of £500 although the Office is aware of one family who have lost significantly more.

Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, Quintin Gill MHK, commenting on the fund said:- “The Office of Fair Trading is delighted that Isle of Man Newspapers has launched this appeal. We have been very concerned by the Farepak collapse and its effects on local customers. These are people who have tried to budget for the expense of Christmas but now find themselves struggling to pay all over again. For most this won’t be possible and they could have been facing a bleak Christmas. Payments from this appeal should make a huge difference to them and their families.”

Chief Officer of the Office of Fair Trading, Nick Black, explained the Office’s role in supporting the appeal. “The Office of Fair Trading will be helping by identifying Manx consumers who have lost out and putting them in touch with the Isle of Man Newspapers appeal. The Office could not play a direct role but we are very pleased to be able to play our part in helping local people who have suffered due to the collapse of the company.”

Note: Cheques should be made payable to the Isle of Man Newspapers Charity Fund, Isle of Man Bank: Account Number 41234146, Sort Code 55-91-00.

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