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Cowboy Builders ‘Harming All Honest Tradesmen’

BRITISH tradesmen are getting a poorer name among homeowners, says TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality mark for firms in the home repair, maintenance and improvement sector.
It’s a concern for Government as stated in its Industrial Strategy for Construction and which says the reputation of the domestic sector is important to the success of the construction industry overall and its ability to attract bright young people into jobs in the industry.
TrustMark research into public perceptions of trades people shows almost a quarter have had an overall negative experience with tradesmen, and more than half of all respondents (52.5%) 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.
Liz Male, chairman of TrustMark, 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 customer 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% of people agreed with the statement ‘Many tradesmen do a good job – there are some great firms out there’, but 50% 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% 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.
TrustMark has a logo download system for all its 14,500 registered firms in order to reduce the risk of logo abuse and fraudulent misrepresentation. Every firm is required to use their personalised TrustMark logo in all of their marketing and website activity, detailing the trades that they have been inspected and licensed for by TrustMark.
TrustMark says it won’t hesitate to take action against firms which are found misusing its logo. It regularly liaises with Trading Standards and the Police when rogue traders come to light.

Following successful legal action against such firms and in order to warn other homeowners the business names are published on TrustMark’s website in the ‘Fakes and Forgeries’ page in it’s Essential advice section.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at