‘Rogues are dam­ag­ing all builders’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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.”

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