Checkatrade recommended tradesmen–bit of a joke

Checkatrade

In an effort not to get completely ripped off when getting tradespeople in to do jobs around the house I have tended to use checkatrade for peace of mind and to date the 4 or 5 people I have got in for various things have been very good and lived up to their ratings.

I think it is a fantastic website, even if there are commercial reasons behind it.

However I recently contact 2 people about putting up a fence in my garden.  Both responded promptly and came to measure up.

My rear garden has tiers and as such it isn’t the easiest of gardens to put a fence in, but it is by no means awkward.

Both companies were punctual, polite and knowledgeable so initial impressions were good.  Both appeared happy to quote and said they would have quotes through within about 1 week, that was fine with me.

However over 4 weeks later no quote or explanation from neither of them.

I get it that there may be some jobs they take a look at and really do not want to do.  We have all been there.  Yes they have to measure up whilst on site but there are ways and means of getting out of doing the job.

The economy is supposed to be in recession and jobs scare etc. I thought they would all jump at the chance of the job, even if it was a few weeks before they could do it.  I am in no immediate rush.

I believe that if they didn’t want to do the job then they should have out priced the job on the quote.  Lets say a realistic price for the job was £1500 but if they sent a quote for £2500 then they save face by quoting, but I am unlikely to take them up on the quote.  If I did, they would be doing very nicely.

This way they save some face in the fact they quoted, even if expensive. It frustrates me that they didn’t have the decency to do this. 

I refuse to call and chase them, the ball is in their court.

I do not even feel that I should email them to give them feedback directly, I feel like it is a waste of my time and they are obviously not too concerned.

I want to leave feedback on checkatrade.com but I do not think it is entirely fair feedback as I am sure both do good jobs, but there should be an option (if there is it is very hard to find) where you can actually give feedback to suggest they didn’t quote even though they measured up.  You only seem to be able to go through a negative feedback process if they have started work for you.

Needless to say I wont be recommending these fencing companies.

This has not affected my overall experience or view of checkatrade and I wont allow it to affect my use of the site for other tradesmen in the future, but it irritates me that local tradespeople who rely on recommendation act like this.  It is not good for them or their business!

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59 thoughts on “Checkatrade recommended tradesmen–bit of a joke

  1. Thank you for your feedback. Its always important to hear of consumers experiences with Checkatrade members, whether that is positive or negative. Although we do not currently publish feedback on the website where no work has been carried out (such as missed appointments/not receiving quotes) we do ask for consumers to still give us their feedback as we will record such cases internally. This gives us the opportunity to build a picture of the company and how they conduct their business. For this reason we’d still welcome information of this nature from you. The reason we do not publish such comments is because the feedback system can be open to abuse in these circumstances, simply as Checkatrade have no evidence to substantiate missed appointments or a consumer not receiving a quote. Unlike where work has been carried out and money has exchanged hands.
    If you’d like to talk more on this matter we’d welcome the opportunity. (01243 601234) Equally we have an open door policy at Checkatrade so if you would like to visit our Head Office we would happily pay for your travel expenses, this may help in understanding the way Checkatrade process feedback, how we address complaints etc. If this is something you are interested in please do get in touch. Thanks again for your comments, I’m pleased this has not affected your overall experience of Checkatrade.
    Regards
    Gavin Dutton, Operations Manager.

  2. CheckaTrade DO NOT post feedback on their website – they only post positive feedback – if you do not recommend a builder, you have to wait for a complaint’s form to be sent to your address – This is a real joke. CheckATrade refuse to publish negative comments or anonymous comments (thus putting people at risk from unscrupulous builders who wouldn’t think twice about putting a brick through one’s window if one complains about them). No one should ever use CheckaTrade – it is a profit making organisation that exists to support cowboys (with no qualifications – hence it doesn’t actually ‘check a trade’) who clearly pay for the service. A real company would not hesitate to allow free feedback and a points system from zero to ten that was honest. Checkatrade do not allow this and thus they are a joke.

    • I agree to a point with some of those comments. Some are a little harsh. They have reason for making negative feedback more difficult because they are not always clear cut and many complain for silly reasons. Checkatrade have a good reputation as do most of those companies listed on their site. However I do agree there are ways that negative feedback could be handled differently.

      • So Checkatrade ‘have readon for making negative feedback more difficult because they are not always clear cut and many complain for silly reasons?” Perhaps many give positive comments for ‘silly reason’s’ i.e. they are related to the company. With this intelligence they’d be no point of reviews anywhere at any time. I always read reviews, particularly on Amazon before buying products – I find them essential. If negative reviews are not included on a site then no positive reviews can be taken as promise of a good reputation. I have done extensive research on CheckATrade from Mums Net to Money.Com and others and they have a terrible reputation with more and more people being disenchanted. Of course this will be the case. They are not a Trading Standards Company – they refuse – I mean REFUSE to publish reviews that are not positive. AVOID people! My experience has been disastrous. I have since found a review of this particular company (that CheckATrade think are so good) and it shows what cowboys they really are.

    • Checkatrade actually take up the Negative feedback with the Tradesperson involved directly as i can speak from personal experience. My husband was targeted by a client with ‘mental health issues’ who wouldn’t allow him access to finish a job that he had started & wouldn’t answer our phone calls! It took quite a while to resolve but Checkatrade took it very seriously even though my husband had been with them since the beginning & was one of their longest standing members. Luckily for us Checkatrade eventually found out that we were the innocent party. So because you cant actually see that they deal with issues, doesnt mean that they don’t!! As far as cowboys go i think that they are sly people so they will infiltrate any establishment & i was told of one in checatrade who has now been removed!! Checkatrade do their best but they are not miracle workers.

      • That’s fine, Jeanette. It’s just, a lot of us can tell a different story from personal experience, y’know? I don’t know what Checkatrade’s best is, so cannot tell if they do it or not.

  3. I agree, Feedback needs to be fair and I realise that checkatrade need to make sure competition or people with grudges don’t leave negative feedback to harm someones reputations while boosting their own business ,but i dont believe you should have to leave your name etc for fear of reprisals for leaving genuine negative comments. Why can’t you have an i.d. number after work is carried out to enter on their website to prove its a genuine review? I also agree with the comment above about companies being able to use family members etc to leave positive feedback. Im going to contact checkatrade and voice my concerns as one of the guys we had performed a terrible job and out of fear of being targeted (maybe im being paranoid) I havent left negative feedback. So this in turn doesn’t amount to the company in question having relfective feedback of the customers experience.

  4. Hi there. I’m a plumber/heating engineer and am on Checkatrade. You start by saying ‘In an effort not to get completely ripped off’… Do you have no family who have used tradesmen? Do you have no friends who have ever used tradesmen? Do you not have a work colleague who has ever used a tradesmen? Ever?? No?! So your first port of call is a website where members only get good reviews (most of them fake) because they’re not going to pay to have bad reviews? You’d encourage people who pay for advertising and line their pockets over finding people who are just good at their job, through someone you know?? Well this is the reason that they don’t call you back. You are a nightmare to work for. You are paranoid about these people’s work before they have even stepped through your door. You are telling them of all your bad experiences in the past. They know there are a million other people on Checkatrade that you will be getting quotes from for the job. They now think that they have to quote low to get a job for a customer who is going to be a pain. They don’t like you so they think the easiest thing is to wipe you from their minds and pray for the day that their Checkatrade subscription ends. Anyway are you THAT important?? To me that’s like if a pizza company got the hump with me cos I didn’t call them after they dropped a leaflet through my door. Get on with your life – go support some yuppys who pay for advertising you paranoid clunge.

    • John, I certainly do know of many people who have used tradesmen, but there are times when the trade you are after hasn’t been recommended by someone or at the time you require it, looking online or on a database is simpler than asking friends and family.

      It isn’t a case of being paranoid, its like you mention about asking friends or family its another form or recommendation. So if friends or family can not recommend someone then something like checkatrade is a good alternative.

      In my case I went to 2 different tradesmen, the same as most people would if they were recommended one or two by friends.

      You obviously have some sort of gripe with checkatrade. My comments are that these tradesmen who get all positive reviews do so because the feedback is from jobs they want to do or have done. Is it right that they don’t quote.

      Your pizza leaflet is quite different, as them advertising on checkatrade is the leaflet. In my case it would be like going to the pizza shop ordering a pizza and them saying no we wont supply you with it.

      Not sure what your problem is with checkatrade or that fact that there should be some option to provide feedback for poor service, but with that attitude you have here, I can safely say you haven’t won yourself any customers.

      • I’ve no gripe with checkatrade – but you just get a feeling about the type of people who use it. Yes looking on the internet is simpler! People go on the internet because they’re lazy and they want fast and cheap. That’s you. Basically everyone knows a tradesmen for every trade or has someone who they can easily ask. Surely the best way to get a vetted tradesman would be to get a recommendation from a real person who has had real work done, but finding out would be far too much effort for you.

        I like the way you try to gloss over your crying about tradesmen not getting back to you – real toys out of pram stuff! Basically, you think that you are more important than them so you work yourself up thinking ‘how dare they!’ hahaha (funny thinking of your hurt pride and stupid angry face!)

        With the attitude you have here, I can safely say no wonder no one wants to work for you! HAHAHA good luck finding someone you pillock!!

  5. I had an awful experience with Checkatrade, or rather my 83-year-old Dad did, and I had to help pick up the pieces. Really, it dubs itself ‘the anwer to the rogue trader problem’… the answer to the rogue trader’s prayers more like. As we know, traders pay a hefty annual fee to join and get the site to promote them through advertising. Yet the site does sort of imply that these are firms they can personally vouch for. The name is ambivalent… who does the checking? Them or us? All they have to do is check the subscription has gone through.

    The site is obviously not like TripAdvisor or Imdb, where you are allowed bad reviews and can take a view on which you can agree with. Most of the traders seem to be the Citizen Kane or tradesmen on that site!

    My dad went to the card they put through the door for an electrician, first time he did that, and the last. All he needed was a few sockets and improved lighting for the living room, as his eyesight is deteriotating. Now, he called this ‘rewiring’ which was his own fault, but still…. the guy he called out moved fast, got himself signed in for a rewiring job costing £6000 for a three-bedroom house. Completely misled my dad as to the extent of the job, said it would involve moving a bit of furniture around, that’s all! Rubbish.

    The ‘task description’ was a joke. It consisted of an invoice with my dad’s address on it and the words ‘Rewire the above property’ typed on it. No detail about what would be done, no breakdown of the quote at all. Couldn’t even do the postcode with capital letters.
    I could go on. My dad got cold feet and twice tried to postpone with the first two weeks, this bloke glibly fobbed him off. He wanted his payday. We then cancelled, so he claimed over a grand in labour costs, for doing nothing, or rather tried to.

    Eventually we got hold of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council and a friendly fellow helped sort it out, he got his own team to work on it for a fraction of a price, they did a full report and of course the house did not need rewiring!
    In the end the Checkatrade electrician still got away with his deposit. He still has a 9.9 rating on Checkatrade. I phoned up a woman there who was good at dishing out tea and sympathy but nothing seemed to move her to action. When I got shirty and asked exactly what an electrician would have to do to get removed from Checkatrade, she got very defensive and said, ‘We’re not allowed to give that information out…’ Of course, I was taking them at face value, not knowing tradesmen pay several hundred pounds to join them; they are the real customers, not us.

    I may as well have phoned up the Internet Movie Database to complain about a movie I’d seen on telly last night.
    Eventually she got all businesslike and said she’d look into it and get back to me. Since then, many months later, nothing.

    As someone else said, you may as well stick a pin in the Yellow Pages.
    I understand TrustMark might be more reliable, being Government-backed and not-for-profit, or go to Age Concern if you have elderly parents, as they have a list of locally approved tradesmen.

  6. I am a fully qualified electrician with 45yrs experience. Over the years I have been approached by numerous organisations of the likes of – Checkatrade, Guild of Master Craftsmen, Trust a Trader etc. I have never bothered or even been tempted to sign up to these schemes. In my opinion they are just there to generate money for themselves. I have often wondered, WHO CHECKS THEM ?

    • Reply to comment by Rob .As a bricklayer with some 45 years of experience,in Australia and the USA. I agree with your comments 100 per cent.I am one of the only bricklayers in my home town who can present a set of indentures (and I don’t mean false teeth).when I was interviewed by the Guild of Master Craftsmen.I challenged his right to yes or no my application I turned out that he was a retired RAF officer? since when did they build houses in the sky? Needless to say I did not join.these guilds are just a money making racket.i have never had any problems getting work ,and I have never advertised for work.

  7. I saw on the TV last week a sweeping statement. “You can’t trust review sites”.
    The producers of this programme are human just like the rest of us. But this kind of statement is ridiculous, it like saying all builders are unreliable. Tarring everyone with the same brush. People also expect everything to be perfect and to add to that they have their own view of what perfect is.
    I founded Checkatrade in 1998 with no money, a wife, four children and a mortgage and no other motive than to make a difference. I had no business experience but I did have (and still do have) a desire to try and isolate rogue trades.
    I’ve had no investment and help from local or central government even though I’ve asked many times.
    The national average for complaining on a trades services is 1 in 4. We get a complaint in every 215 jobs our members undertake. We are now visited over 600,000 times a month and we process over 26,000 consumer reviews a month. 55% are spot checked / email verified to be genuine. We now work with and run suffolk’s county council approved trader scheme and many other councils are now turning to us.
    It’s very easy to criticise and I suppose when you run a review site it’s like open hunting season.
    The offer I put to all is; I will pay your travel expenses if you want to visit us, with one condition. You post on this thread what you see and discover on the day, good or bad.

    We are not perfect and never will be. But sincerely, I believe we have saved many consumers hundreds of millions by avoiding rogue trades. There will always be issues with trades, even the good ones. There will always be casualties even from our site, all we can do is to try and improve our service and remove members when we’re sure they don’t meet our standards. With this in mind, as from this Monday, leaving negative feedback will be as easy as leaving positive reports.

    We are doing our best to make a difference and 99% of the time we are successful in this aim.

    Kevin Byrne
    MD and Founder of Checkatrade

    If anyone wishes to take my offer up please email nadine.hermon@Checkatrade.com

    • Totally mystified by this response. I simply am not interested in your poor ol’ little me history about your financial dire straits and fecundity when setting up this site. Why exactly should I take time out to visit your firm? I have experienced enough of it, frankly.

      Oh, you’ve made a difference my old chum! My 83-year-old Dad nearly experienced a breakdown having contacted an electrician through the card you put through the door and your firm showed little or no interest in following up the tradesman concerned. He still had a 99 per cent rating on your site the last time I looked.

      On top of this I understand your firm sent a legal letter to Mumsnet forcing them to take down complaints made about Checkatrade on their site – then, get this, tried to force Mumsnet to hand over those members’ personal details so you could presumably take them to court over their so called ‘libellous’ comments. I find this totally disgusting, especially as these folk were of course customers of Checkatrade – but then we all know the real ‘customers’ as far as you’re concerned are the ones who fork out the hefty annual fee to line your pockets.

      Some reviews sites are trustworthy – I don’t think yours is chum, so don’t give me that ‘I’m just a poor honest fella trying to make a difference’ schtick.

  8. Hi Clive,
    we are not perfect and never will be, there will always be causalities in even the best schemes. I’m really sorry your Dad had a terrible experience, my offer still stands and I’d be happy to discuss your dads experience in person or one the phone to see where we went wrong. My direct number to my office is 01243 604288, Nadine will answer the call and will put you through.

    Sincerely,
    Kevin Byrne
    MD and Founder of Checkatrade

  9. I had to retrain to a different trade due to breaking my spine twice during a 6 year period. The resulting complications and side-effects of the injury meant that I had to find easier work or “pick my colour of wheelchair”, as my doctor told me. This resulted in my taking the best training available and becoming a Locksmith. Not easy to do in your fifties, in a recession.

    I’ve run my own business for just short of five years now, and though I’ll never be rich, I’m paying the bills. I was initially approached by Checkatrade, and declined, as I’m a vetted member of a scheme here in Lancashire, called the Help Direct Safe Trader Scheme. It’s run by Lancashire County Council and Lancashire Trading Standards, and all prospective members are vetted by them (vetting takes place via a visit to the Company by an officlal, not by email or letter), and references are taken directly, initially, from three previous domestic customers (domestic rather than commercial, to avoid any potential “backscratching”). These are sent directly to Trading Standards, and only if found suitable are members accepted. Ongoing vetting works by customers sending in reports to them, and if they care to respond with comments, they can do so. These, good or bad, go on their website. No manipulating of reviews is possible, which is why the local public trust it. Everyone knows the Trading Standards people are beyond reproach..

    This has been a valuable recommendation for my business, and a sound customer base has resulted from it. My point though, is that this is free, no annual fee, nada. This also gives potential customers an unbiased profile of tradespeople on their website, as no money changes hands, etc.
    Not implying there might be bias, but earning from good results is a powerful incentive to paint the best possible picture..

    This scheme exists in slightly different formats in different counties up and down the country, but not in all counties currently. If anyone is interested, trades or customer, I recommend you make enquiries in your local area.

    To Clive: If someone ripped my father off in that manner, I would certainly be damned angry, and to say I’d mistrust the organization that represented that tradesman, is a bit of an understatement! My sympathies, and I hope he and yourself can put it behind you.

    • Thanks Roger, that’s a well-written post. While some sites such as TripAdvisor and IMDB always offer a range of opinions, others lull you into a false sense of security. The Care Quality Commission is another one – they allow reviews of care homes by members of the public, but they’re really only going to be positive, as few people are going to slag off the very home their aged parents might be in, and if you take them out of the home you don’t necessarily need to get involved, or may be unable to burn your bridges.

  10. I have experienced this recently too – tradesmen came to my home and spent some time talking through the areas I needed work doing. They then took several days to quote and then nothing. No response to calls/emails.

    It’s a shame as I wouldn’t be calling people if I hadn’t need work done!!

  11. People can leave negative feedback on Checkatrade, the trader has a chance to comment on the negative feedback, before it goes live a bit like a right to reply, then both the feedback from the customer and the right to reply from the trader are put on the website…ALWAYS. I would just add, we are a specialist hardwood flooring contractor and not everyone knows someone who has had a wooden floor to be able to give a personal recommendation, so the consumer needs to turn somewhere as opposed to going blind. We get around 70 to 80 feedbacks every 6 months and give a card to every customer. We are in our 20th year of trading and been with Checkatrade since the early days. Please don’t tar a few bad exsprences with the same brush.
    With regard to the fence quotes, did you call to ask if they had sent a quote? We all know how millions of letters go missing in the post every year, I always ask customers to call if they have not received our quote within a week.

    • The only option to leave feedback is when the work has commenced unless the site has changed since the time of writing.

      I still use checkatrade.com. In fact sourced an electrician only last week.

      Ref the fence I did not call to ask if they had sent the quote as I wrote in the article. Both companies had my email address and telephone number. If they want my businss it is up to them to contact me to make sure I got it.

      The chances of 2 quotes going missing in the post when they would have been sent sent & delivered within the same town is unlikely.

      I think a good addition to Checkatrade.com maybe some form of rating based on communication/pricing/punctuality even if you did not go through with a quote. It may not be displayed or considdered in the overall tradesmans rating but may give people a guage about the trader. So you could rate them highly based on their professionalism and knowledge but say why you did not use them, maybe because of price or poor communication in my instance.

  12. Having thought that I’d found the right company to repair my chimneys – I am extremely frustrated at yet again being let down by tradesmen….Quote agreed, date in diary – no show and no response to repeated phone calls and emails. Checkatrade will not publish my comment as ‘ no work was done’ – this is a company with a 9.8 rating and glowing comments – go figure.

  13. I am completely in agreement that Checkatrade will refuse to publish negative or should I say truthful reviews on their website. I experienced a terrible situation whereby I chose a plumber on checkatrade based on their good scores to find that 4 months down the line I had a new bathroom but with multiple faults and leaks and still have a lot of work to rectify 12 months on.
    I wrote to checkatrade to ask for them to publish my comments and sent them photos of the bad workmanship, faults, with views of the work from the opinion of another plumber and also the shower manufacturers engineers report Checkatrade refused to publish any of my comments and said unless I was successful in the small claims court. They do keep the bad comments on file for all the traders but unless they have multiple complaints on one tradesman they will refuse to publish any negative remarks. All the cowboys up and down this country are being kept in work thanks to CHECKATRADE.

  14. All the sites offering trades, Including the yellow pages are not an honest reflection of the people you get. As you say, They never publish any negative reviews which makes any potential customer think they are all very good. I recently had a bad plasterer, There is no point in bothering to try and post anything negative about him as it will not be published on the site. I’m much lighter in the pocket and now have to get another plasterer to come and try to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. So not only costs twice the cost but, Twice the inconvenience of getting tradesmen in.

  15. can i ask do checkatrade send out there own inspectors to ever check builders on here as ive heard people get people to praise builders that havnt acctually done the job that they r showing pictures of

    • You decide, Mr Benson. If you are bringing in work, then it depends how much extra work you will get for paying maybe as much as a grand a year if you’re a plumber (though I don’t think it’s more than that). You can put ‘Checkatrade approved’ on your van if you have one, some will be swayed by that. As for whether they check, I understand they check your qualifications or what have you, I can’t see that they do much checking on a one to one basis, they have so many members they probably can’t keep track of everyone. Never heard of them sending folk around to check as a a routine thing. They don’t even follow up necessarily if a member of the public has a gripe, they didn’t in my case.

  16. im thinking of advertising on here but what really does it intail ive been in the trade building 32 years is it worth it ?

    • The only way you’ll find out is to approach them directly and ask. A friend of mine signed up with one of these tradesmen sites (of which I do not remember the exact one) and basically he had to pay to join and then they would send him texts of jobs in his area and if he wanted the customers details he had to pay about £20 to the company for the details. He did not do it for long as often the jobs were too small to recoup his fee and make a sensible profit.

  17. I did leave a review on Yell for the poor tradesman I had. It was on the site for about 10 days or so before it disappeared. Just goes to prove, These companies don’t care about anything but, Their income from the tradesmen. So next time you see a tradesman on Yell with a few 5 star ratings, Remember they probably had alot of negative reviews removed at their request.

  18. I feel the same as many other Checkatrade users, total waste of time. All I had were time wasters. Only 4 out of 10 contacted me back after I asked to be contacted for a quote and 2 of those were ‘too busy to take on new work’ This was just in September 2013. Funny the MD and Founder of Checkatrade said in June on this blog “With this in mind, as from this Monday, leaving negative feedback will be as easy as leaving positive reports” LOL in September I tried to do just that, did it work…… NO. I have colleagues at work who have used tradesman found via Checkatrade and with poor results ie; poor workmanship, poor timekeeping, etc etc.

  19. Fully agree that they only post positive feedback.
    I hired a guy to do tling. He took 2 weeks to do the easy bits and then left saying he didn’t know how to do the rest – including tile round a showerhead

  20. We just discovered last week that the company we used to install windows/doors and who were supposed to install a lintel above our patio door that they installed themselves didn’t install the lintel correctly, in fact the lintel was too small and sitting right on top of the door frame taking the entire load of the exterior brick wall! no wonder the door failed and my brickwork dropped!! And this company scores very high on Checkatrade, when I tried to leave negative feedback for this company some months ago I was not allowed, now I will be sending my pictures and findings to Checkatrade on the sorts of cowboys who operate on thier website.

    • Good luck with that one! They won’t be interested. Why should they be? Between your review and the £1,000 they get from the tradesman… which do you think they’ll opt for?

      • I don’t care if they are not interested I will do it out of principle. Same goes for voting, you have the right to vote in an election, yes the political party probably don’t realy care anyway however if you choose not to vote then you have no right to moan about circumstances that arise from the political scene.

      • Well okay Raxx, though I tend to disagree about that whole ‘if you don’t vote you don’t have the right to moan later’ line of argument. It’s like saying if you don’t like any stuff on the current music scene and don’t buy any pop records, you can’t very well moan about the state of said music scene.

        All I’m saying is, yes, register your protest but don’t take too long over it, in their view the customer is always right and the customer aint you, it’s the tradesman paying them a grand a year.

        Better surely to register your protest somewhere else, otherwise it’s like complaining about a criminal not to the police but to the criminal himself.

  21. Hi Clive, ref your comment:

    “though I tend to disagree about that whole ‘if you don’t vote you don’t have the right to moan later’ line of argument. It’s like saying if you don’t like any stuff on the current music scene and don’t buy any pop records, you can’t very well moan about the state of said music scene”

    The music scene is different. People fought wars and people died to get the free right to vote, it’s a legal right so if you don’t use that given right that some in the world don’t have then personally I don’t think you have the right to complain about political affairs. If you don’t like a particular genre of music you have the freedom to listen to something else that suits you, there is no moaning involved. BTW pop isn’t the only genre one can buy. Anyway that’s getting into a different argument altogether one that will go on for years so we’ll just agree to disagree however have a thought for those who fought for you to have that right.

  22. I have used a plumber from Check a Trade recently and the service was crap. The guy came along to repair two leaky taps, by way of replacing the ceramic discs, and install two shut off valves to a hand basin. He did the valves which leaked and went away to get the ceramic discs. That was two weeks ago and despite my many calls and text messages he has failed to return. So be warned keep away from DB Plumbing from Tilehurst near Reading Berkshire. As for Check a Trade vetting their people, They Don’t

  23. Recently we contacted your website in order to obtain details of a reliable contractor to repair a leaking flat roof covering a side garage. We are absolutely disgusted by the workmanship carried out at High St Layer de la Haye. The owner of the property is a 94 year old gentleman living alone. A Mr Smith contacted the owner and was paid £350 in cash to repair a leak in a flat roof which was causing a slight dampness to the inside brickwork in one particular place. Now, as a result of Mr Smith of Kelvedon Property Services visit the flat roof leaks in two places forming puddles on the garage floor. An appointment was made for Mr Smith to visit the address on 24 December 2013 between 2 and 5 pm to carry out an inspection and book a date for remedial action. He failed to turn up and didn’t even have the courtesy to telephone to cancel the appt and make alternative arrangements. In the meantime plastic sheeting is covering the area secured by bricks. Surely your organisation’s recommendations are vetted to ensure the workmen are bona fide contractors and a member of a reputable association ie NFRC, CRC, FMB etc. rather than purely promoting “cowboys”. Mr Smith has already been given one opportunity to discuss rectifying the problem which he chose to ignore. No doubt you will appreciate the money paid was fraudulently obtained as the work contracted to affect a repair was not carried out. We intend to allow a further 7 working days for the mater to be resolved after which solicitor and Court action will be instigated to reclaim the original money together with the associated costs involved to obtain recompense.

  24. Interesting comments. I have recently had a front door and frame ‘fitted’ by a checkatrade member. They left me with daylight between the frame and render, knowing full well torrential rain was forecast, the door does not close properly, it leaks underneath where the weatherboard is too high, and also leaks though the glass, letterbox and lock. Screw heads protrude in the frame, it’s not been sanded at the top, the seal is black and fitted on an unprimed frame …. the list is endless. The builder said he had to return to complete the job but couldn’t tell me when. However, why he left me in this mess at 3.45pm on the Friday before Christmas (6 hours work only) is inexcusable. I told him his work was poor and got an aggressive email saying he’d return. I don’t want him back as the work is so bad and quality of materials so poor it needs ripping out and starting again. We paid 50%. I have complained to check a trade and am waiting to see what they do. I have invited them to come and see the appalling mess I am in – so instead of offering free visits to head office, I hope they come round and see. We have spent every day of our Christmas holiday mopping up, taping holes and buying expanding foam to fill the gaps. If Checkatrade don’t take action I will contact BBC Watchdog and I hope other people will do the same.

  25. Have operated as well qualified technical tradesman with checkatrade for over 20years they do check qualifications they do post negative feedback but allow the right of reply by the tradesman to balance the comments as many customers waste contractors time
    People should always take care to consider all aspects of employing someone to work for them including what their premises /vans/friends say/web site /qualifications /trade body memberships etc are like and checkatrade before employing them.
    On balance checkatrade provide some check of other works carried out by the tradesman better than nothing
    Trading standards may not prosecute even if misrepresentation has taken place
    You should always be careful and not pay other than a deposit till the work is completed satisfactorily my company has had hundreds of replies from satisfied customers surely a good guide for anyone to use

    • This may be true, but all you get on the net is people complaining about how they could not leave negative feedback on the Checkatrade website. On top of that, most tradesmen seem to rate 9.8 out of 10, surely a bit suspect. I have hardly read any negative feedback, let alone a right of reply by tradesmen. What’s more, Checkatrade hand out cards with ‘advertisements’ on them, often used by the elderly who have loads of savings, are prone to senior moments and do not have access to the internet anyway. The implication of the name is that THEY do the checking, not the customer.

    • Hi I am a tradesman very intresting to read all these comments. I was thinking of signing up to check a trade. I am a carpet and floor fitter. I have been for over 30 years.I am always on the look out for extra work but I think I will have to have a good think before parting with any cash. I have signed to another site Rated People. I pay £15.00 a month and I am able to pay for what leads suit me and have to compete with up to two other tradesman. I do get rated on each job. Big diffrence is whoever buys your lead you can see there ratings,job that was posted and also contact those customers before you commit. Hope this helps you all in the future,

      • Indeed, avoid crappertrade at all costs! in itself its getting a bad rep. If you’re a good tradesman word of mouth should be enough.

  26. I have used Checkatrade before, mostly with positive results but our last experience meant we had to call in separate builders to make good the work left uncompleted.

    Checkatrade are a commercial outfit and represent their clients (the fee paying subscribers) and not the customers. The last cowboy we dealt with has all 10/10 reviews – this just doesn’t add up, given that:
    a) No-one is perfect at everything they do and the likelihood of all 10/10 is nye on impossible
    b) Given our experience we know this score does not represent the services rendered
    c) We would have given him perhaps 2/10
    We await to see if this is amended following our feedback to Checkatrade (doubtful) but word of mouth through people you know is the only real way to get a reliable recommendation and don’t rely on Checkatrade alone.

  27. I agree with the negative comments about Check a trade, it is dodgy as you can’t leave negative feedback anomynously or without giving the tradesman another chance. I was ripped off buy a complete cowboy builder naively thinking the 10/10 reviews were believable. This guy and his mates made a complete mess of the job (which I had to have completely redone) while taking off with 2/3rd deposit (c.£3000), after I booted him out he then started turning up at my house asking for more money and intimidating my family. When I tried to put in a negative feedback anonymously, I was being required to give him the opportunity to come to my house again to fix it. This clown was useless as was trying to intimidate me for more money so I wanted nothing to do with him. As such I ended up giving up on giving negative feedback as i didn’t want further problems, no doubt leaving him free to continue doing it. £3000 wasted and I would never trust checkatrade again.

  28. I have used Checkatrade twice in the past year with two completely different outcomes. The first was for fascias and the company who carried out the work were first class to which I duly praised them for in my feedback. The second experience five months ago to re-fit my bathroom resulted in a builder of 30 years experience (his words) making the most amateurish job complete with chipped, upside down tiles that didn’t meet the ceiling and a finish reminiscent of 1965. Checkatrade contacted me by phone to say they had not received my feedback via e-mail and I had to make my feedback ‘off the cuff’. The tradesman concerned was allowed to give a detailed feedback, complete with the lie that he was negotiating a settlement with me when in reality he had cut off communication when I asked for my money back. After five months going through Trading Standards who he is a member of their Buy With Confidence scheme and taking proceedings in the small claims court he finally paid my money back plus my court fees to that date, seven days before the judge was hopefully about to appoint an expert on which to base his judgement. All these schemes are trade associations either for fledgling businesses that are genuinely trying to build a name but for the most part are a tool for bad tradesmen. If you are any good you don’t need to advertise, and be prepared to wait for their services. The most laughable thing is that Checkatrade sponsors that ridiculous programme on channel 5 with Dom Littlewood about cowboy builders when most of them are on their books it would appear.

  29. I have used checka trade twice the 1st builder was first class and deserved his 10 rating and I have recommended him twice in my locality with satisfactory results the 2nd local one did the job required ok and I offered other jobs to him never to see him again the answer is NEVER part with money until the job is done to your satisfaction unless stage payments sre justified

  30. Have just asked Roofing company to quote for repairs to gutters and flashing over a porch.. No appointment, he was visiting a neighbour and asked as he was leaving. Guttering caused no problems, but flashing seemed to present a problem, and he wanted to make it into a major operation. Didn’t want to rake out and reseat as the mortar might collapse! Wanted to take out brick courses and tiles. Started to explain that it only needed raking out a reseating, but all I got was ‘Im too busy anyway, and stormed off’. Extremely rude.
    Checkatrade member G Luxford.

  31. So 2 tradesmen came out to quote and didn’t quote. The only common factor here is you. Maybe you came across poorly and they felt they didn’t want to work for you. We are still in recession and it is vital that tradesman are 100% sure of the customers we work for. If you came across as someone who may become a problem payer etx then of course there is no point in quoting.
    The tradesman is only there to make money, maybe you were not seen as a viable profitable job.

    • Interesting viewpoint. Bearing in mind I was getting them into quote it would suggest I was keen to have the work done. I would not like to say I was self assured but having worked in a professional role for 8 years in business since leaving uni, being a home owner along with 2 cars on the drive I like to think I can out myself across as a viable client. If needed I could have paid in advance or some deposit if that was their concern.

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