UKtrade body the Property Care Association (PCA) is backing a new initiative, developed by TrustMark to help signpost consumers to trusted tradesmen and help tackle rogue traders.
The association has welcomed the new smartphone app – developed by TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality mark for tradesmen – which was launched by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in June.
The app will help tradesmen and their customers to ask all the right questions and to have more confident conversations before agreeing work to be done in or around the home.
According to TrustMark, the consumer need for this app was highlighted when they commissioned research among 1,000 homeowners about their own experiences when using a tradesman to quote for a job in or around the home.
Their report revealed over half of British homeowners (54%) admitted they forgot to ask the right questions when they invited tradesmen into their homes to quote for a job, and almost one in five forgot to ask a really important question – meaning consumers are often handing over the repair, maintenance or improvement of their home after only the briefest of conversations.
The research also showed that younger homeowners were particularly vulnerable and lacking in confidence, with almost half (46%) turning to their parents for help when it comes to employing a tradesman.
As a trade body, the PCA has been strongly involved with TrustMark for a number of years.
The Association is an approved scheme operator for the initiative and, as an approved operator, this means all of its members belong to the scheme.
Les Meikle, chairman of the Property Care Association, believes both customers and reputable tradesmen alike will view the launch of this app as a positive step by TrustMark.
He said “Focusing customers on tradesmen’s credentials, qualifications, past customer referrals, memberships of recognised trade associations – as well as a step by step guide through the contracting process – ensures all the bases are covered and leaves little to chance.
“With the Property Care Association’s members’ commitment to customer service, and also being members of TrustMark, the app is a welcome step forward in making it harder for the “cowboys.”
The TrustMark app is free and available for iPhones, with additional versions for other smartphones coming later this year. To download the app, follow the link from www.trustmark.org.uk/apps