Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question that is not covered here please contact our Membership team
0800 458 1234
who will be delighted to help.
- Why Checkatrade?
- How does it work?
- Trade Associations
- Joining Checkatrade
Isn't this just advertising?
Checkatrade is not simply an advertising platform. It is not a fire and forget marketing
campaign or a set of glossy free-ads. It is a means of establishing your reputation
through word of mouth - amplified through Checkatrade's continual marketing on this
web site and in printed guides.
Checkatrade is a partnership between the trades and their customers. Checkatrade
bring together the public, who are looking for tradesmen they can trust, with trades
and service providers who uphold and operate to the Checkatrade standard. Customers
supply feedback about the tradesmen to Checkatrade - proving their credibility to
other potential customers.
I've heard it all before - what makes Checkatrade so special?
We have all heard sales people make claims that simply cannot be true. Sales people
can be very seductive and spin all manner of tales. We don't want you just to take
our word for it - read what other people say about us. Read
the testimonials from other trade members.
Even better, call up any of our members and ask them yourself how Checkatrade has
affected their business. No one else would dare suggest this - that's what makes
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 are 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, time
after time after time. You can build up a record of customer opinions that will
cover all areas of your work, in all of your locations, 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 customer feedback will do this for you, with the credibility
and trust of the Checkatrade brand.
I've got too much work and I'm booked up for months - why should I join?
You have obviously built up a successful business by valuing the customer, doing
good work, and marketing yourself well. The majority of our members join primarily
for the credibility, and we can maximise this for your continued success. 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, and we can help you get them more efficiently and
effectively - it is likely that your advertising spend will be cut as you focus
on word of mouth recommendation.
I'm just starting out - is Checkatrade right for me?
This depends on how much experience you have in your line of work. Our vetting process
requires you to have a minimum period of experience in your trade. If you are an
experienced tradesman and are now starting your own business, Checkatrade will help
give you the kick-start you are looking for. We can advise you on how best to utilise
your membership, give you marketing options, and help you build your brand by publishing
your customers' feedback.
Do you cover where I work?
Checkatrade operates across 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.
Members across the country can get the same benefits from the enhanced credibility
of being continually monitored.
If you found Checkatrade on the Internet, then so can your customers. And if you
are one of the first few in your area to get the Checkatrade advantage then 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!
How does it work?
Does the vetting process mean a lot of hassle for me?
Our vetting process has to be comprehensive to ensure that we only allow top flight businesses to become
members - we have to uphold the customer's trust in us. However, we realise it is not the most profitable
or exciting exercise for you, so we do the vast majority of the work.
All applicants are pre-screened and told that they will interviewed, vetted and monitored. This alone
deters a lot of trades who know that they have a substandard service. We ensure that the trades and services
know we are a consumer information service and that we have to remain unbiased. Our procedures for handling
negative comments and complaints are clearly explained here.
Our trained staff will assess your suitability and will then arrange an interview.
To pass our vetting procedure and to become a member of Checkatrade we require:
- Qualifications - we require proof that you are qualified to undertake your chosen profession
- Insurance - we require proof that you hold Public Liability and combined insurance if you employ people.
- Utility Bills - we require 2 utility bills that show you live / work from the place you state you do.
- Identification - we require photo identification (passport/driver’s license).
- Trading Standards - we require you to sign a document that will permit us to talk to trading standards about you.
- Referees - we require details of up to 10 previous customers (minimum of 6) for whom you have completed work for in the last 12 months for us to contact.
- Code of Ethics and Conduct - we require you to sign to agree to follow them.
- Credit Check - we will perform a Credit Check on you to check your financial history.
In addition we look at length of experience and your company history as well as VAT and company legal status.
How will you monitor me?
We believe the best people to monitor our members are the customers. This means
our members supply each one of their customers with a Checkatrade “Reputation Report”.
This card allows the customer the opportunity to give comments and scores 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. This information stream shows what the public think about how our trades
and services perform.
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 customer feedback.
How important are the Reputation Report Cards?
The Reputation Report cards are very important for the Checkatrade process and provide
vital benefits for you:
- If you hand a Reputation Report card to your customer before you have even won the
job, you will give the customer immense confidence in you. It tells the customer
that you are willing to be held accountable for the work you do. The customer knows
that they would have someone to complain to should any issues arise, and is immediately
less fearful about commiting the work to you. The Reputation Report 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.
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 complaint determines how the complaint is dealt with.
Should we receive complaints of a serious nature, the consumer will be asked to
complete the 'Customer Comment 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:
- Address the complaint and put the job right. The customer will then submit a new
reputation report card to replace the original.
- Or 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.
What about customers who complain with no valid reason?
You will always be given the opportunity to resolve the complaint first, if this
is not possible you will be able to provide a right of reply with your version of
events that will be displayed on the website with the customer's comments. We will
not publish anonymous feedback to protect against hoax feedback.
What makes you different from a Guild or Federation?
To our knowledge most Guilds and Federations are orientated towards providing a service for the trades.
Here at Checkatrade we understand that for a service like ours to work it has to
be focused first on the consumer. We believe that if you give the consumer what
they want and do it well, they will repay you. This principle has been proved time
and time again by our members.
Most trade association memberships involve a one-off or perhaps an annual check
on their members. We monitor our members continually through customer feedback.
We give the consumer confidence to employ a tradesman, and that generates work.
We estimate that customers reward our members with a total value of £55.5 million worth of work every month.
Our consumer-first philosophy works!
I'm already registered with Fensa / Corgi / Part P. What else can you offer me?
Checkatrade is a marketing platform that not only brings credibility but also causes
your phone to ring with new quality customers.
When was the last time your phone rang just because you were Fensa, Corgi or Part P registered?
Checkatrade helps to distinguish you from the rest.
What will it cost?
Before you can judge the cost you have to know what you are getting.
Work out the value of a Checkatrade membership to your business, and then you can
look at the cost.
- 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?
- Look at the benefits of Checkatrade membership, and
see how they compare to a listing in a phone directory.
- 90% of our members renew their membership year after year because they know it more
than pays for itself. Many have doubled their turnover as a result.
The benefits of Checkatrade membership start at just over £10 a week (plus VAT). Can you afford not to join?
Contact our Membership team on
0800 458 1234
or enquire online to find out more.
Do I have to pay up front?
We know cashflow is an issue when running a small business, so to help you we can
take your membership fees by Direct Debit.
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, please call our Membership team on
0800 458 1234
who will be happy to answer any further questions, or complete our
online enquiry form to request a call back.