When you need work done in the home or at the office, finding a tradesman is easy. Finding one that you can be confident will do a professional job at a fair price may prove a tad more difficult.
Let us not overstate the problem – most trades people are decent, competent and honest. The difficulty is that those who aren’t inevitably bring suspicion upon everybody offering a service. It is not unreasonable that you, as a customer, should want to be reassured of a tradesman’s bona fides. A real and trustworthy professional would not object to you taking a few precautions and making some initial enquiries about them before taking them on.
Here are five things you can do to before commissioning somebody to do your work to help give yourself peace of mind:
- Get Recommendations
Can your friends or acquaintances give you the name of somebody who has worked for them in the past? Did he do the job well? Was it reasonably priced?
If he’s done a good, honest job for somebody else the chances are he will do the same for you. Especially if he is aware that you are on good terms with some of his other customers – he risks losing more just your business if he doesn’t.
- Read the Reviews
Most established businesses will have attracted reviews through local online directories such as Yell.com. Take a look at see what others say about the person or company which you are thinking of engaging. Do they suggest a good experience or a bad one? And take account of how many reviews the service has – a very small number of positive reviews might suggest they are not from genuine customers. The larger the number, the more authentic they are likely to be.
- Check Accreditations
Most trades people will be registered within their appropriate field. Organisations like the Painting & Decorating Association, the Institute of Carpenters or the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors like to consider themselves beacons of excellence, and would take a dim view of any rogue workmen within their ranks. Does the trades person you are thinking of taking on belong to an association of this kind? If not, why not?
- Google is your Friend
It doesn’t take long to type “Joe Bloggs scam artist” into Google and see whether there are any adverse reports about your trader. Customers today have the option to complain very loudly and very publicly. If your man has been ripping people off for any length of time he will have left a trail of angry customers in his wake.
- Confirm Contact Details
Any reputable tradesman will have a published contact address and a checkable telephone number at the very least. Many these days will have a website of some kind, and an e-mail address. If your plumber or decorator doesn’t want to be traced once he has finished his work for you there is likely to be reason for that.