Homeowners are losing confidence in British tradesmen, according to a warning today from TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality mark for firms in the home repair, maintenance and improvement sector.
TrustMark has commissioned new research into public perceptions of tradesmen. At first glance it seems that most people have a good impression – 71 per cent of respondents felt their overall experience of using a tradesman was more positive than negative.
When given a list of good and bad adjectives to describe tradesmen, the five most frequently used words were ‘skilled’, ‘hardworking’, ‘professional’, ‘helpful’ and ‘trustworthy’.
However, almost a quarter say they have had an overall negative experience with tradesmen, and more than half of all respondents (52.5 per cent) felt their perception of tradesmen had become more negative because of the ‘cowboy builder’ TV programmes, which pursue the worst rogue traders and criminals masquerading as tradesmen in the domestic sector.
TrustMark chairman Liz Male says: “The appalling activities of rogue traders are tarnishing the reputation of British tradesmen, and this must stop. The Government has committed to help us extend the TrustMark scheme so that far more good local firms can get the TrustMark badge. We will be working with these firms, as well as Government and industry and consumer advice groups, to boost customers’ confidence in the many excellent tradesmen in the sector.”
Key findings from TrustMark’s poll reveal one in five people would encourage friends or family to get a job in the sector only if there was more recognition of good quality and skilled tradesmen. 43 per cent of people agreed with the statement “Many tradesmen do a good job – there are some great firms out there”, but 50 per cent of people also said they were not confident about the level of consumer protection available to them when they employ a tradesman to work on their homes.
Almost 94 per cent of people would have more confidence and trust in tradesmen if they had undergone a full vetting and inspection process to ensure their work met an industry standard – exactly the safeguards which TrustMark provides.