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Thursday
Apr212011

Avoid Rogue Traders

Hire a SafeTrader

Emergency call-outs
For emergency call-outs make sure you hire somebody local. Usually tradesmen such as plumbers charge per hour and this may also include travel time.
Be aware that tradesmen can charge a flat 60 minute call-out fee even when the job might only take 5 minutes to complete. Ask about their call-out policy before you book. Before booking ask about trade association membership. Many jobs require that a tradesmen is a trade member.
Don't allow a tradesmen to use jargon or confusing language. Ask for explanation in plain English.
Don't deal in cash and always ask for a written quote before the task is undertaken.

Reputable tradesmen and cowboys - The difference:
Reputable builders, plumbers, electricians and other tradesmen are experienced, reliable, honest and trustworthy. Good tradesmen are trained to deal with their specific area of expertise; whether this be building, plumbing and heating or electrics. Beware the tradesmen who claims to be an expert in all matters - ask to see all their credentials before they start work.
Reputable tradesmen are usually very busy people becuase their network of clients grows as people recommend their good work to friends, family and neighbours.
Cowboy builders and 'rogue' tradesmen are not well trained in any specific area of building or maintenance. Nor to have usually have pulic liability insurance or deal in written contracts. As a result each year thousands of the general public are left with substandard work or issues that aren't correctly fixed or even not fixed at all!

Tradesmen checklist

  • Make sure the Tradesman is a Safetrader member
  • Ask the tradesmen for references of previous jobs
  • Get written quotes from two or three different tradesmen
  • The tradesmen should provide a simple standard contract
  • Ask for work to be covered by an insurance-backed warranty
  • Use and stick to building plans for larger jobs
  • Avoid a VAT free cash deal
  • Look for a trade association member
  • If problems arise, speak to the builder straight-away
  • Never pay for your work in advance of it being carried out
  • Can they start tomorrow? Good builders are usually busy 

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