A new online hub on our website called 'Eliminating Rogue trades'

  • Lauren's Avatar
    Community Manager
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    Hey everyone,

    Have you seen the new area on our website yet? 🤠

    Over the past year, 6.7 million UK adults have been impacted by a rogue trade and we've been on a mission since 1998 to stamp out these cowboys for good.

    This new area hosts heaps of information on what we're doing as a company to help get rid of the rogues, how to spot them and make a complaint, there are real life stories from homeowners who have been victims to the cowboys, hero trade reviews, and how to find a good tradesperson.

    Did you know that 1 in 3 homeowners have put off home improvement work due to fear of hiring a rogue trade!

    Check out the new live area here and let us know what you think in the comments below 👇

    Trades - Do we have any other expert hero's too? We'd love to hear your story to feature you on the website!

    Consumers - Have you been a victim to a cowboy builder before? Would you be willing to share your story with us? Let us know below

    Kindest regards,
    ​​​​​​​Lauren
    Last edited by Lauren; 08-12-21 at 10:58.
  • 7 Replies

  • ChelseaDave's Avatar
    Level 20
    The stats are alarmingly worryingly and speak for themselves. The only possible way to get rid of rogue/cowboy traders is to regulate all trades just like in the gas and electrical sectors. The simplicity of buying a bag of tools, sign writing a van and declaring yourself a tradesperson should not be allowed, particularly when others have dedicated years to training and have acquired the qualifications needed to rightly call themselves a skilled professional tradesperson. After all what is the point of training facilities and lecturers, plus apprenticeships and qualifications if they are seen as totally unnecessary and can easily be swayed around? Insurance companies should be made accountable, as cover should only be given to those with proof of their qualifications. With no insurance you canít trade, therefore we have no cowboys, it can be as simple as that! Advertising companies should also take a huge amount of responsibility, after all they help to put these cowboys on the front line! Only when this happens will there be total control over all trades with more confidence restored to the consumer knowing that who they employ is a skilled professional who is accountable to a regulator! My advice to the consumer is to simply ask the tradesperson to produce their qualifications and insurance certification/documents before making any commitment to them. If they canít or you have any doubts just walk away. So in truth it is insurance companies and advertising platforms that help to create these cowboys, this is where these issues originate and where they need to be addressed to eliminate the problem!
    Last edited by ChelseaDave; 05-03-22 at 09:16.
  • ChelseaDave's Avatar
    Level 20
    Iím really surprised that there has been no response or challenge to this thread! Q. What is a rogue/cowboy trader, is it someone without qualifications? A. Of course it is! Q. Why do insurance companies give cover without actual proof of status ? A. Because they canít lose and make loads of easy money! Q. Why do advertising platforms accept insurance that doesnít actually prove that the individual is qualified to trade? A. Again it is easy money!
    So until every trade is regulated there will always be rogue/cowboy traders, that is a fact and something that has been going on for many, many years. The only reprieve from this is if the actual consumer does their own homework and research by checking the trader and realising that qualifications actually go hand in hand with insurance, proving that who they are employing is a genuine fully qualified and insured tradesperson! Only then do they have the right to complain as it will be their own fault if they employ a rogue/cowboy trader particularly if it all goes wrong!
  • Lauren's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Hey @ChelseaDave - I can absolutely see where you are coming from here.

    I think with some trades it's difficult to say in an emergency - you need someone quick, available, local to you so I guess its harder for the consumer as its a moment of panic but that is why they can have the added extra security and safety blanket using a member from checkatrade to fix that burst pipe or new keys to the door you've been locked out of. Knowing that they've had the checks, the supported by the guarantee and there's a place online openly they can share their experience with too.!

    Have you had to fix a cowboy carpenter's job at all before?
  • ChelseaDave's Avatar
    Level 20
    @Lauren I agree to a degree, but a good tradesmen should always carry trade identification with proof of their status, I do!

    As I undertake the manufacture and installation of bespoke woodwork projects only I would never entertain putting somebody else's work right. It is dangerous territory and can be bad for your reputation. Of course I do get involved with restoration projects for The Black Country Living Museum but that is far removed from your question. There is also another question, would I help out old or vulnerable people left distraught by rogue traders, although a difficult position to be in, of course I would!
    Last edited by ChelseaDave; 22-03-22 at 08:02.
  • dave plasterer's Avatar
    Level 16
    I thought CAT vetted and checked all trades so why would any be on here?
  • ChelseaDave's Avatar
    Level 20
    It is because vetting is not good enough, as there are far too many unqualified on Checkatrade!. Experience isnít a substitute, it is an addition! All you need nowadays is PLI which is far too easily acquired as long as you pay your money! It makes a complete mockery of apprenticeships, further educational training facilities and qualified lecturers. It is a complete farce! We all know it will never happen but until all trades are regulated, insurance companies insist on qualifications for proof of status and advertising platforms doing their bit, there will always be rogue/cowboy traders! Iím afraid those are the facts and it is a problem that will never go away! Eliminate rogue/cowboy traders, Iíve told you how! Apparently The Federation of Master Builders have been lobbying for these changes for years!
    Last edited by ChelseaDave; 21-03-22 at 20:14.
  • ChelseaDave's Avatar
    Level 20
    To simplify things, a very good example of qualification, assuming most of us drive, would be our driving licence! How do you get this, the answer is you take lessons/training from a skilled qualified driving instructor. When you have passed you receive a certificate/driving licence, giving you the right to drive. This licence is an identification card and has all your details including a registration/drivers number which you carry for life. To allow you to drive your vehicle it has to be insured, but you can only do this with proof of your ability to drive, which is provided by the information on your driving licence. Once you have sorted the legal requirements you can hit the road, it is only then that you gain 'Experience'! So to sum up, your driving licence (qualification) goes hand in hand with your insurance, without one you can't have the other, meaning you simply can't drive! This is how it should be throughout the building trades, therefore taking a huge step towards eliminating rogue/cowboy traders, who are only there because the current system allows them to be! Not rocket science is it?
    Last edited by ChelseaDave; 22-03-22 at 07:17.