Why Checkatrade?

Isn't this just advertising?

No. Checkatrade is not a fire and forget marketing campaign or a set of glossy free-ads. We help you to grow your reputation through word-of-mouth – amplified through our continual marketing on this site and in printed guides.

Checkatrade is a partnership between members and their customers. We bring together the public, who are looking for tradespeople they can trust, with businesses who uphold and operate to the Checkatrade standard. Customers supply feedback about members – proving their credibility to other potential customers.

Please don’t just take our word for it – read what other people say about us.

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Most of my work already comes via recommendation - why should I join?

If most of your work comes from recommendations, then you are exactly the type of business we are looking for. We want people who are proud of their reputation and who know it works for them as the best form of advertising. If you’re not getting work by recommendation, we would be asking why.

Checkatrade membership means word of mouth – through a megaphone. Recommendations are not just passed among friends, they are shared with the general public. You can build up a record of customer opinions covering of your work, wherever you work, and stretch back for as long as you have been a member. So you can be as good as all of your jobs, not just your last one.

What's more, you don't have to maintain files of references or example sites. Your Checkatrade membership and feedback reports will do this for you, with the credibility and trust of the Checkatrade brand.

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I've got too much work and I'm booked up for months - why should I join?

The majority of our members join primarily for the credibility. We can help you stay ahead of your competitors by providing another reason for customers to choose you first. Through Checkatrade, you can take more of the jobs that are most profitable or enjoyable. It is likely that your advertising spend will be cut as you focus on word-of-mouth recommendation.

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I'm just starting out - is Checkatrade right for me?

This depends on how much experience you have in your line of work. Our background process requires you to have a minimum period of experience in your trade. If you are an experienced tradesperson and are now starting your own business, Checkatrade will help give you the kickstart you are looking for. We can advise you on how to get the most from your membership, give you marketing options, and help you build your brand by publishing your customers' feedback.

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Do you cover where I work?

We cover the whole of the UK. If you browse our listings of current members, you will find that most of our members are based in the south of England. This is because Checkatrade has grown from a local reference service to cover an entire region. However our system does work nationwide.

If you found Checkatrade on the web, so can your customers. And if you are one of the first few in your area to get the our advantage, you will really stand out from the competition. Our surveys have shown that being able to demonstrate your credibility through Checkatrade membership increases your quote conversion rate from an average of five out of ten to eight out of ten. That's a potential 60% increase in work!

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How does it work?

How does the background check work?

Our trained staff will assess your suitability and arrange an interview (we’ll come out to meet you). To complete the background check, we require:

  • Qualifications – proof that you are qualified to undertake your chosen profession
  • Insurance – proof that you hold public liability and combined insurance if you employ people
  • Utility Bills – 2 utility bills that show you live / work from the place you state you do
  • Identification – photo identification (passport/driver’s licence)
  • Trading Standards – to sign a document that will permit us to talk to trading standards about you
  • Referees – contact details of up to 10 previous customers (minimum of 6) for whom you have completed work in the last 12 months
  • Code of Ethics and Conduct – to sign and agree to follow them
  • Credit Check on Limited Companies - we perform a Credit Check on applicants that are Limited and Limited Liability Partnership companies to check their financial history.

In addition, we look at length of experience and your company history as well as VAT and company legal status.

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How will you monitor me?

We believe the best people to monitor our members are their customers. This means our members supply each one of their customers with a Checkatrade feedback card.

This card lets customer comment and score you in five different areas of workmanship and service. The customer completes the card and posts it back to Checkatrade – no stamp required. The customer can also leave feedback online.

Customers' names and addresses are never published, and we do not publish anonymous feedback. We protect our members against rogue consumers or deliberate anti-competitive behaviour. Each month we aim to spot check and verify 30% – 40% of feedback received.

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How important are the feedback cards?

These are very important for the Checkatrade process and provide vital benefits for you:

  • If you hand a card to your customer before you have even won the job, you will give the customer confidence in you. It tells them that you are willing to be held accountable for the work you do. The feedback cards will help you win business.
  • The more cards you give out, the more scores you get. Consumers may choose you from our web site based on the number of recommendations you have, so the more comments you collect, the more enquiries you generate.
  • The scores and comments are a real encouragement to you and your team. You can feel proud when customers give you compliments and praise. You can also use the feedback to see what is important to your customers – often by making just small improvements in the right area you can make a difference to your bottom line.
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What happens if a customer complains about me?

We would never publish a negative comment or scores lower than 5, without contacting you first. The severity of the issue determines how the complaint is dealt with. Should we receive complaints of a serious nature, the consumer will be asked to complete a form, and this activates our complaints procedure which is overseen by one of our experienced customer services staff.

You will then have the following options:

  1. Address the complaint and put the job right. The customer will then submit a new feedback card to replace the original.
  2. If you feel the complaint is unjustified, send us your side of the story. Your reply will be published on our web site next to the customer's comments.

    If you do nothing, the comment will be published as it is after 21 days.

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Joining Checkatrade

What will it cost?

Lets look at the value of a Checkatrade membership to your business, and then you can look at the cost. Ask:

  • How valuable is it to be able to say "I'm accountable for my work"?
  • What is it worth to win a much higher proportion of quotes – because you can prove your reputation and your competitors can't?
  • How much do the benefits of Checkatrade membership compare to a listing in a phone directory?

90% of our members renew their membership every year because they know it more than pays for itself. Many have doubled their turnover as a result.

The benefits of Checkatrade membership can be spread over 4 – 6 months via a Direct Debit. The actual spend is the equivalent to just over £11 a week (plus VAT). Can you afford not to join?

Contact our membership team on 0800 458 1234 or ask online to find out more.

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Do I have to pay up front?

We know cashflow is an issue when running a small business, so we can take your membership fees by Direct Debit.

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How do I find out more?

To get a full picture of the benefits of Checkatrade membership and what it would mean for your business, call us on 0800 458 1234, or complete our online form to request a call back.

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