‘Rogues are damaging all builders’
A TRADESMAN has hit out at doorstep rogues who ‘create mistrust’ towards his industry.
Colin Marks, based in New Road, Amersham, has built up trust through word of mouth recommendations during a 30 year career as a builder in Bucks.
Mr Marks, who won a Pride of Bucks 999 Services Personnel award in July because of his work as a retained firefighter, says he has heard of rogue tradesmen in the county, whom scam £14 million a year from Bucks victims.
“It is a problem everywhere,” he said. “They do damage to all of builders’ reputations and it does create a lot of mistrust. I get people ringing up saying they have had work done and they are not happy with it.
“I have never encountered anyone knocking on my door. It would be very easy to rip people off, certainly elderly people.
“It is being conscientious with fair and honest prices. That is what I maintain and believe in.”
More than 17,000 people in the county have searched for tradesmen using an online accreditation scheme.
Checkatrade runs background checks on tradesmen before they can become members of its group.
Consumers then review work carried out at their houses which can influence whether a tradesman is trusted for work in the future. Kevin Byrne, founder and owner of Checkatrade, is surprised at the growing interest in Buckinghamshire for his business.
He said: “In the last 30 days we have had 17,468 searches by consumers for tradesmen on our website. It is more than I expected from Buckinghamshire as our strongest areas are on the south coast.
“The general advice is to never entertain someone that just knocks on your door. If your local authority has got an accreditation scheme you should use that or Checkatrade.
“When you invite a tradesman in your home you should have a clear idea of what you want. If you say ‘build me an extension’ he will interpret that in many ways. The more detail you give, the more likely it is you will get what you want.”