How to Spot a rogue trader
Owning a website / virtual real estate
Rogue traders will rarely own a website, and those that do tend not to take any care into the website they have created (a bit like their craftsmanship) whereas trusted traders will have well maintained websites (not all of them) and usually have lots of, or good reviews on google and other reviews on sites such as yell or checkatrade.
Written quotes and “ballpark figures”
Rogue traders don’t usually like to give written quotes or any sort of proof of payment for that matter as it’s a lot easier to not pay VAT or tax on these earnings, you’re not the only one they’re happy to screw over. Another reason for a rogue trader or a cowboy builder to not provide quotations is because they are always looking for an extra buck so if they can get away with providing a rough ballpark estimation as it gives them opportunity to increase the price at a later date. A Trusted Trader will always provide you with a quote, especially in writing not only for your benefit but also for their own benefit as well. (accounting and tax purposes) these guys are legitimate professionals. Always make sure you shop around before you settle on a tradesman. This way you will make sure you get the right price and find the right professional for the job.
Want to buy a grandma?
Rogue traders would willingly sell their Grandma for spare parts if it meant an extra few quid in their pocket for poor levels of craftsmanship. Beware of a lack of reviews and testimonials on their social media and website if they have any. A reputable and trusted trader will have reviews and a profile on Google and yell and any other platform.
Trusted Tradesmen will shudder at the thought of selling their grandma. It goes without saying that trusted traders will have many positive reviews and will have a presence in at least 1 or 2 major directories as well as a social media presence.
Qualifications and certification / regulatory bodies
Trusted traders will have a qualification from a recognised board of authority, whether that a city and guilds or a be registered on the gas safe register. Trusted traders take no shortcuts in proving their legitimacy. On the other hand though, rogue traders will do anything to obfuscate the subject of their legitimacy with fake certificates or a lot of waffle stating that such governing bodies and regulatory registers do not exist or the certifications are not mandatory (things like the gas safe register) is a mandatory requirement which allows them to legally work with gas.
All trusted traders will be licensed and registered with the relevant bodies to make sure they are accredited for the work that they provide.
Half upfront or full payment upfront
A lot of dodgy tradesmen will ask for half or all of the money upfront. some may even charge for a quote when the industry standard is to provide free quotations. Most Trusted Traders will provide a quote for free unless it is unfeasible (traveling 100 miles to provide a quote for free is unreasonable and you should expect to be charged but not locally).
Never part with any money before any work has been completed, doing this will make it extremely difficult to dispute any grievances with the tradesman and will most likely leave you with a ruined build and crippled bank account.
Cold calling and door to door sales
Colding calling door to door sales – if you have someone come to your door or call you private phone number to sell you service that is in the trade industry such as a painter and decorator or a plasterer then this should be cause for alarm! Builders and people with a trade are usually too busy to be making cold calls and out canvassing the streets looking for new leads, even new businesses and entrants into the market would be hard pushed to start cold calling and door to door sales, unless they were really desperate.
Contracts and signed paperwork.
Rogue traders will do everything they can in their ghastly power to avoid providing you with a contract or any proof of work and this is purely to cover their own backs often taking payment in cash instead of through a bank transaction or other form of electronic payment. Without a contract you will not be able to prove that any work had indeed taken place and could leave in quite a sticky situation without it. Make sure you are always provided with a receipt of work and contract stating the work in which they are going to undertake.
Trusted traders will always provide you with some form of contract and reciept for your reference and theirs.
Can start immediately
Many traders will juggle or work multiple jobs at once but rouge traders always seem to have time to be able to do almost any job, this may be a good attraction but you must look closely and see if they have many reviews and if they seem to be busy, if not then they are probably a rogue trader looking to milk the local area dry before disappearing without a trace and doing it all over again in another town or city. Yes these guys will literally take your money and run.
Lies and Secrecy
We mentioned it earlier but those who have to lie or evade the subject of certifications and licenses then that must raise alarms. If you are in doubt remember to ask for a portfolio of work as you are well within your right to ask them to produce previous examples of work they have completed.
Trusted traders will not lie nor with they feel the need to keep secrets or evade important questions such as those pertaining to their accreditation and qualification.
We as humans like to see the best in people but that trait is exactly the type of trait that rogue traders feed off the most, Human kindness. It’s great being kind but not at the expense of being scammed by a one of these scoundrels. fill out the form in sidebar to the right to get in touch and get a free quote today!
Too good to be true
If it seems too good to be true then it probably is, if you’ve been offered three quotes all around the figure of £1000 and you receive another quote offering you the same job but for £400 then this should definitely raise some major red flags. There is a rule of thumb when it comes to pricing up a job in trades and these enable the tradesman to cover the cost of the materials required for the job and also allows him to cover the cost of time, travel and other expenses.
Always be critical when searching for quotes, sometimes the cheapest is not the best idea. if you don’t have the time, patience or the confidence to start contacting and comparing quotes then do not despair, we’ve got you covered! fill out the form to the side or at the bottom of the page to get a quote from screened and vetted trusted Tradesmen.