12 July 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Advice to prevent people being hit on by rogue traders
Published: Thame Gazette and Bucks Herald
Rogue traders are putting vulnerable residents at risk, a company which monitors contractors has warned.
As a result of the threat, a checklist has been provided advising people what to consider when looking for a tradesman they can trust.
People should avoid contractors who cold call or doorstep and try to use builders recommended by people who have used them before, according to Kevin Byrne, founder of Checkatrade, which vets and monitors traders and drew up the advice.
Before work starts, people should get written quotes or estimates from at least three contractors and take time to properly brief tradesmen and put in writing as much detail about the work as possible to avoid any confusion.
Checkatrade also recommends making sure you have adequate contact details for the trader in case of problems, including an office address and trade association membership details.
Although work can be delayed by factors outsides of the tradesman’s control, people are advised to agree a start and estimated finish date.
With regards to costs, it is suggested people get jobs done on a fixed-price basis, agree payment terms in advance, be careful of anyone that asks for up-front payments and avoid traders who specifically ask for cash.
Once you agree terms and before work starts, Checkatrade advises drawing up a simple contract, and once work has begun regularly check works are on schedule.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Checkatrade helps combat the UK's rogue trader problem by continuously vetting and monitoring local traders such as builders, plumbers and electricians. The idea was born in 1998 after a tornado hit the small West Sussex town of Selsey. Traders poured in from as far away as Liverpool and Manchester. Unfortunately, some ripped off the inhabitants of the town. Local businessman, Kevin Byrne, realised there was nowhere to check out the traders’ credentials and the company that became Checkatrade was formed.
Since then, Checkatrade has grown to include over 6,300 genuine trade members, growing by an average 120 new members every month, and, via the Royal Mail, distributes 5.9 million directories a year into communities throughout Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Dorset and Berkshire, while the website includes traders from across the UK.
PR / Marketing, Checkatrade
5 - 6 Sherrington Mews, Ellis Square, Selsey, West Sussex, PO20 0FJ