Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Scams Awareness Month: how to tell the cowboys from the Quality Plumbers

From doorstep double glazing sales to online investment offers, every year people lose thousands of pounds as a result of cons devised by rogue traders. To mark Scams Awareness Month, which takes place throughout July to highlight how scams flourish when people stay silent, we've compiled some handy tips to help you distinguish the industry's cowboys from the Quality Plumbers.

Be very careful about taking on a tradesperson who:
  • Offers very cheap quotes or estimates - this could mean they are a cowboy, or could not be experienced enough to give accurate figures.
  • Is unwilling to put a quote or estimate in writing - this could mean they don't intend to stick to it.
  • Is unwilling to offer references.
  • Is too keen to start the job straightaway - cowboy plumbers & builders often do lots of work in one area before moving out of the area altogether. They often leave very poor or unfinished work behind and are impossible to track down.
  • Is unwilling to offer you details about their business - for example an address or landline number.
  • Claims to be in a trade association when they are not - you should always check whether the person does belong to the trade association (like APHC). If they don't, it means they're probably dishonest and committing a criminal offence.
  • Claims to work for a company with a good reputation when they don't - check they work for who they say they do. If they don't, it means they're dishonest and you'd be better off not using them.
  • Doesn't offer you a contract, or doesn't sign the one you give them.
  • Asks for money up front without first proving that their company is bona fide and will complete the works.
  • Gives a detailed quote and schedule of work but then doesn't follow it.
  • Doesn't charge VAT when they should - if they are a small or new trader, they may not need to register or pay VAT. It depends on how much work they do in a year. If they should be registered, they could be avoiding paying it, to save money and charge less than others. This is dishonest and against the law.
  • Only accepts cash - if a person will only accept a cash payment, they could be acting dishonestly by saving on paying out for VAT.

Find quality local plumbers

1 comment:

  1. Always check if your plumber is a member of The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE)

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