Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question that is not covered here please call Checkatrade on 0845 408 4866 (local rate call).
- Using the Checkatrade Service
- About Checkatrade Members
Using the Checkatrade Service
Do I have to pay for your service?
No. It is completely free for the consumer. There are no hidden charges. Our customer
feedback cards have postage pre-paid and our telephone Trade Appraisal
Line is only a standard local rate call.
How can I get the best results from your listings?
Use our search facility to find the trade or service you need in your area. This
will show up a list of businesses who work in your area, even if their addresses
are not local.
Our stringent vetting and transparent monitoring system ensures that every business
is recommended and usually works to a high standard. You can find details and reports
of their past work by clicking on their names. As every customer is different and
each job unique, only you know what you are looking for. The reports will highlight
how each business has performed in areas such as time keeping or value for money.
You are now in a position to get quotes from several businesses that catch your
eye. In the end, it might be availability or disposition that helps you choose between
them. Whatever you decide to do, you know you are choosing a business that has made itself accountable to the public.
If you would like any further help, call our Trade Appraisal Line.
Why can’t I search trades and services by overall ranking?
You have our guarantee that all of our member trades and services have committed to working to a high
standard. We are impartial and can recommend them all, because the public has repeatedly
recommended them to us. That is why we display them in random order on this site.
The high standard across the board means that differences in overall score are relatively
small. We have found that other factors, such as price or availability, usually
help customers to make their decisions. The highest ranked business may not necessarily
be the most appropriate for your particular job.
Why are there only a few traders listed in my area?
Checkatrade started as a local business and quickly grew because the system works.
We are now uniquely positioned to serve the whole country, but building up the directory
in each area will take a little time.
You can help us extend our coverage by recommending or warning
tradesmen that you have used. We will then contact the trade or service provider
and ask them if they are willing to be vetted and continuously monitored by Checkatrade.
I was not given a customer feedback card when the work was done. How can I get one?
You should receive a customer feedback card directly from the tradesman before the
work is done - this means feedback cannot be biased by only hearing from the "friendly"
customers. Occasionally this gets forgotten, in which case you can
contact Checkatrade by email or telephone and we will send you one.
About Checkatrade Members
How do you vet prospective members?
All applicants are pre-screened and told that they will be interviewed, vetted and monitored – and the results,
good and bad, will be made public. This alone deters a lot of trades who know that they their service is substandard.
We ensure that the trades and services know that we are a consumer information service and that we have to remain unbiased.
Our procedures for handling negative comments and complaints are clearly explained.
Our trained staff assess the applicants suitability and will then arrange an interview.
To pass our vetting procedure we request:
- Qualifications - we require proof that the applicant is qualified to undertake their chosen profession (e.g. Corgi, Fensa, Part P).
- Insurance - we require proof that they hold Public Liability and combined insurance if they employ people.
- Utility Bills - we require 2 utility bills as proof of address.
- Identification - we require photo identification (passport, driver’s license etc).
- Trading Standards - we require applicants to sign a document that will permit us to talk to trading standards about them.
- Referees - we require details of up to 10 previous customers (minimum of 6) for whom they have completed work for in the last 12 months for us to contact.
- Code of Ethics and Conduct - we require the applicant to sign to agree to follow them.
- Credit Check - we will perform a Credit Check on the applicant to check their financial history.
In addition we look at length of experience and the company’s history as well as VAT and company legal status.
How do you monitor your trade members?
We believe the person best placed to monitor our members is you, the customer.
As a customer you receive a Checkatrade customer feedback card from the tradesperson.
This card allows you the opportunity to give comments and scores out of ten across
five different areas of their workmanship and service. Please complete this card
and post it back to us - no stamp required.
This public information stream allows us to publish reviews of how the trades
and services perform, as well as to discuss with them the feedback they are getting.
Your feedback is the very essence of Checkatrade - passing on word of mouth recommendations
about the quality of tradesmen.
Your name and address are never published. However, for your feedback to count we
do require you to fill in your contact details. Without a name, address and telephone
number we cannot substantiate any claim or opinion about a tradesman and we cannot
operate on hearsay. Each month we aim to spot check and verify 30% - 40% of customer feedback.
We may call or email you to verify the details you supply.
Do you guarantee the quality of your members’ work?
Our members remain independent businesses responsible for the work they each carry
out. It is not possible for us to guarantee the quality of our members’ work or
approve them as a trading association would.
What we can guarantee is that Checkatrade members are recommended, vetted, and monitored.
They pledge to uphold the Checkatrade Standard
– a code of excellent conduct. This keeps the rogue tradesmen away, the standard
of work high, and each business accountable for its performance.
We also guarantee to publish all feedback - good and bad. This means that our members
work well because their reputations are at stake: one sloppy job and they lose custom.
Our system gives you peace of mind. You know what others have written about each business, and
that it is in their interests to work to the best of their ability every time.
What if a Checkatrade member does a poor job?
This is a rare event because our members know that unsatisfied customers will give
poor scores and negative feedback which will be published on our web site. If you
do have reason to complain about the work of one of our members, then please complete
a customer feedback card. If you have not received a card from the tradesman then
please contact Checkatrade by email or telephone and we
will send you one.
Our staff personally process each customer feedback card. If the customer is happy
for us to contact the trade or service, we take up any dissatisfaction directly
with them, giving the trade or service the negative feedback and hearing their side
of the story.
Often issues that have arisen are due to unclear expectations or poor communication.
Having contacted the business we usually find that the problems get resolved.
Read more about making a complaint
Do you remove unsatisfactory members?
Yes we do. In the unlikely event that a business consistently falls short of the
Checkatrade Standard, its membership will be suspended.
The reason that the vast majority of our trades and services work to a high standard
is that our initial vetting is stringent, and the monitoring process puts their
reputation and future work on the line.