It’s been a long while, if ever, that tradesmen have been trusted in the industry, even though there are only a small amount of ‘cowboys’ compared to respectable businesses, you can’t blame a customer for being cautious. I would only be happy having work done by someone who was recommended to me by a friend or a person I knew. Some people go as far as visiting an installers previous job to talk to their customer and check their work. They are usually investing a lot of money in their project so they do need to know who they are dealing with.
In the past few years the amount of websites offering to recommend trusted businesses has risen quiet a lot, like Rated People and MyBuilder, this is a good way of keeping the cowboys away, of course you should still do other checks to make sure you are happy with who you are dealing with even when using sites like these. Looking out for the Trust Mark Scheme, Deposit Protection so your money is safe and Independent Warranty so if the business goes bust you are still covered, are all important things to consider.
Even programs like cowboy builders are a good thing, making people aware of their rights and what to look out for so you don’t get conned, I would also hope it would make some ‘cowboys’ think twice about what they are doing.
Installers now having to have at least one of their team qualified with an NVQ or the equivalent is probably the best thing I have heard for a while, this is a great thing for the industry. It doesn’t take much if you already know what you are doing. Soon all competent installers should have a Q card to display proving they have the relevant training, you can read more about this here – Minimum Technical Competencies (MTCs) This is definitely something the industry needs.
The reason I got to thinking this today was because of one phone call! Someone phoned about a conservatory but he was very defensive from the start, almost like he thought we were going to rip him off straight away! He told us he knew what needed doing! as if to dissuaded from trying to suggest other things (which we don’t do) and told us he knew how much it was going to cost!!!! as if to try to stop us from over quoting! This kind of call is very rare for us but it does remind me that people still don’t trust tradespeople. If he had looked at our site and read our reviews he would have seen past customers comment on the things he was worried about, for example not trying to push unnecessary sales or over quoting.
We love our customers, they are generally trusting people who go through the necessary checks just as we do, it’s fair for both parties to do what’s needed to protect themselves. I don’t blame some customers from being cautious ,we hear quite often the horror stories that some people have experienced and we are quite often the ones that come to the rescue, we are known as being honest.
Recently we went to see a job, It was a conservatory with a glass roof which has a crack in it!! Three of the units had been fitted with un-toughened glass which is highly dangerous this would cause shards rather than breaking into little pieces. From what we could tell, the roof didn’t fit originally and who ever had to fit it would have ordered three new panels to make it fit! Apart from that the windows didn’t open and shut properly as the conservatory itself was sinking. We sadly see lots of jobs like this, it is why the replacement and repairs side of our business does so well.
So will the industry ever clear its name? Well No! There will always be cowboys ruining it for us, the ones that don’t care and just want the money or the ones who just don’t know what they are doing! But I do believe that they will be filtered out little by little over the next few years, I do think it will get better. For us , we will carry on the way we are, collecting great testimonials and receiving work through recommendations. We will be understanding to those who clearly are not very trusting to the industry and try to change their opinions.