If you ever need home repairs – if you experience a boiler breakdown or a home emergency – then you must use trusted, authoritative and qualified tradespeople. If you use someone a friend recommended, or someone who is advertising in the chip shop window, you must make sure that they hold the right accreditation and qualifications.
We’ve written many times about the health and safety risks of using rogue traders – gas boiler repairs and electrical repairs conducted by unqualified people can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, fire, electrocution and a range of other life-threatening scenarios. But did you know that rogue traders will not only put your health at risk, but also your wallet?
TrustMark polled over 2, 000 homeowners and 300 tradesmen, and found that households in the UK spend a total of £1.9 billion last year dealing with the after-effects of rogue traders. The survey indicated that overall, 18 million homeowners employed traders during the last 12 months, and of these, 17% had to have part or all of the trader’s work redone. On average, this cost people £600.
The most prevalent problem tradesman cited when repairing the work performed by unqualified people was a lack of technical ability, cited by a massive 91%, with 47% of traders saying jobs performed by people without the skills to do them are also the most expensive to fix.
Why do people use rogue traders for home emergency repairs?
The research revealed that people typically use unqualified traders simply because of a lack of foresight or knowledge of the issue. More than a quarter (26%) of respondents said they didn’t know where to look for information about traders, with a further 26%n solely using a friend or family member’s recommendations when choosing a trader.
Furthermore, 6% of homeowners said they decide on which trader to use based on who provides the lowest quote, but 84% of traders said this is the main reason people end up with shoddy workmanship. Only 2% of homeowners said they use the technical qualifications of a trader when deciding who to use for home improvements or repairs.
More than half (57%) of homeowners who hired a tradesman last year said they did not check the contractor’s qualifications, with 20% of the tradesmen polled stating that clients have never asked them about their qualifications.
What should people do if they are not happy with a trader’s work?
The poll found that 41% of people who have hired traders in the last year were not sure where to report problems to, with 34% saying they did not know how to resolve the problem.
There are a wide range of different professional bodies people can report rogue traders to. Local authorities’ trading standards bodies will be interested in any reports of unqualified or dangerous tradesmen, while the Gas Safe Register is keen to hear of any unregistered people who perform boiler breakdown repairs or any other work on gas appliances. Trade associations that the contractor is a member of will also be keen to hear of any disputes and may have dispute resolution schemes. The Citizens Advice Bureau can also help people report rogue traders. It is possible to sue rogue traders in court and recover the cost of the initial work and any necessary reparative work – a solicitor will be able to advise you further.
Of course, 247 Home Rescue members do not have to worry about rogue traders when they contact us for home emergency repairs, appliance repairs and boiler repairs. Arrange a service plan with us today, and you’ll thank yourself tomorrow!