Finding a reliable tradesman or builder

Finding a reliable tradesman or builder

We take a look at three companies who advertise for tradesmen, to see what safeguards they have in place to protect their customers

Many of us turn to the internet these days to find a contractor. However, with the increasing number of websites that list tradespeople, we've decided to look at three companies who provide this service to see what safeguards are in place to stop costumers from falling foul of rogue tradesmen and which inevitably help our chances of choosing a good one.

My builder

My builder vets its tradesmen and only 60% of those who apply to use their website make it through. During the vetting process, tradespeople will need to demonstrate both their professionalism and technical knowledge. Their approach appears to be working well, with them receiving an excellent Trustscore of 4.6 out of 5 based on reviewer feedback. Negative feedback left by customers is flagged up to customer services. Their customer services team will then act within a 72-hour time frame to decide whether the tradesmen should have their membership suspended.

Rated people

Approximately 75% of tradespeople who apply for membership with rated people prove successful. Each tradesperson who applies needs to complete a telephone or face to face interview, pass the mandatory credit and fraud checks, and prove that they're qualified in their field. According to their chief executive Celia Francis, out of 90000 jobs posted each month only between 5 to 15 on average result in a dispute. In general, the tradesmen will rectify the issue if the customer agrees to remove their negative review once everything has been satisfactorily resolved. If need be, customer services can intervene and refer the dispute to a mediation service, which will cost both parties a fee of £25. If things can't be resolved by taking these steps, the trader will ultimately have their membership suspended. Ultimately, their vetting process appears to be successful with them receiving an excellent Trustscore of 4.6 out of 5 based on reviewer feedback.

Check a trade

Checkatrade is probably the best-known site for finding a tradesperson, and it is rated as excellent on Trustpilot with 4.7 out of 5 stars TrustScore based on reviewer feedback. It has approximately 29,000 traders listed who have all been vetted in a process where they'll have to pass a face-to-face interview and provide at least five references. Traders will also need to prove that they're qualified in their field and hold public liability insurance. Checkatrade also carries out background and identity checks. Once they've passed all these checks, the traders must agree to abide by a code of conduct and allow Checkatrade to discuss their work with Trading Standards. Customers can review their chosen tradesmen work either online or by completing a free post feedback form. Any negative feedback will be published within five days, and the reviewer will need to allow Checkatrade permission so that they contact the trader with regards to the complaint. The tradesperson does have a right to reply. However, Checkatrade will try to encourage them to rectify the issue. Like Rated People, they may ultimately decide to suspend the trader's membership with them as a result.

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