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If things go wrong

How to deal with problems you might have, having used a TrustMark tradesman

If you've followed our advice on choosing a reputable TrustMark tradesmen / firm and how to specify the work to be done, you've gone a long way to reducing the chance of any problems. But if you have cause for complaint about the performance of a TrustMark registered firm, follow this step-by-step complaints process:

Step 1

Talk to the tradesman about the problem and give them a chance to put any problems right or to finish any work that is not finished. Stay calm, even if you are angry, and give evidence and examples to support your claims. Be fair,keep a written record and allow the firm the opportunity to respond to your points and fix any faults.

Step 2

If you are still not satisfied, you should send your complaint in writing to the approved scheme operator who is monitoring the firm and they will investigate your complaint. If you are unclear who this is look at the logo to the right of the firms contact details on our search page and click on the logo shown, this will take you through to the 'more information' page - then click on the 'Registered through' logo of the scheme operator who inspected the firm on our behalf. Please contact this scheme operator as each licensed organisation has their own clear customer complaints procedure, which must be fair.

They will deal with complaints about the standard of work and customer service in line with our core criteria.  Product and material complaints should be directed to the tradesman who will raise the complaint with the supplier/manufacturer and collectively attempt to resolve your complaint directly with you. 

The scheme operator may charge you for a full site inspection, however, if you or the tradesman takes legal action at this stage, the scheme operator has the right to suspend or end the complaints process. If the scheme operator agrees with your complaint, the firm will have to put the situation right. The scheme operator may also decide on disciplinary action against the firm. Alternatively the scheme operator may find that your complaint is not valid. In this case, you can appeal or move to step 3.

Step 3

If you are not happy with the scheme operator's decision, you can use a low-cost independent resolution service (see definition) such as adjudication, mediation, arbitration or conciliation schemes. Each of these services work slightly differently, but all are designed to solve problems without going to court. If you feel that the scheme operator has not followed their complaints procedure or dealt with the matter in the way they said they would, you can complain to us at TrustMark - step 4.

Step 4

You can complain to TrustMark about the way the scheme operator has handled your complaint. We then investigate whether the scheme operator acted properly, however we cannot investigate the issue your original complaint was about as we must be unbiased in the way we operate.

Step 5

If we find that the scheme operator acted correctly, your complaint does not proceed further. If we find that the scheme operator was at fault, we can take a number of measures. These range from making the scheme operator look at your complaint again, to taking disciplinary action against the organisation, which would mean we no longer approve them. To refer your complaint to TrustMark, please contact us at the address shown.

You can also download the information on this page in our simple one-page advice sheet on: How to complain about a TrustMark-registered firm. (PDF file)

What do I do if something goes wrong?

If you have a complaint about the performance of a registered firm, you should complain to the firm in the first instance, keeping a written record of the relevant points and giving the tradesman/firm a fair opportunity to reply. If your complaint is not sorted out at that stage, you should contact the scheme operator that awarded the TrustMark to the firm. They will have set procedures in place to investigate and handle your complaint that cover the level of workmanship, materials and customer service. These procedures must comply with TrustMark standards - they must be fast, responsive, accessible and user-friendly. 

I have a dispute with a registered firm. I've approached the relevant approved scheme operator and have gone through their complaints process, but I don't agree with their decision. What other options are open to me?

The scheme operator will try to sort out your problem. But if you or the registered tradesman/firm disagrees with the outcome, you have the option of adjudication, mediation, arbitration or conciliation as an independent, low cost alternative to legal action.

When should I pass my complaint to TrustMark itself?

TrustMark relies on its scheme operators to settle problems between registered firms and their customers and will not become involved in the substance of any dispute. But if you have taken a complaint to an scheme operator and feel it has not been handled properly according to the scheme operator's stated procedures, you can refer the issue to us. We will investigate the way the complaint has been handled (not the original points in dispute) and the Board will take action against the scheme operator if we find a complaint has not been dealt with properly. For more information on the TrustMark complaints procedure, please go to If things go wrong.

What sort of disciplinary action will be taken against a firm that breaks your rules?

TrustMark has a range of disciplinary measures in place in case a registered firm does not meet the agreed standards. Serious cases may result in immediate expulsion but we would always rather the matter was resolved to all parties satisfaction.

I've started legal proceedings against my contractor - can TrustMark help me?

No. Once legal proceedings have started against a registered firm, the scheme operator (or TrustMark itself) must suspend any investigation of your complaint.

I'm simply not prepared to let the firm back into my home to do any further work - can I have a different firm to do repairs?

No. Our procedures ask that you give the registered firm a fair opportunity to complete the work or fix defects, provided it would not be unreasonable to expect you to do so. If you do not give the firm the chance to make good its work, the scheme operator is entitled to end the complaints process.

What compensation am I entitled to?

We focus on helping you to get a good job done at a fair price; we do not give compensation. But TrustMark scheme operators operate a three stage complaints procedure designed to settle problems without the need for legal action.