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  • Posted by Steve Playle Friday Mar 03, 2017

Cancelling contracts and dealing with the fallout

Our lives are governed by contracts - even though we may not always realise it. Every time we buy something in a shop, get a new mobile phone, take a holiday, sign up for a new energy supplier or accept a new job, there is a contract behind it.

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  • Posted by Louise Cook Tuesday Feb 28, 2017

Don’t let your home improvements flop this pancake day

Today is the last Tuesday in February, which means it’s also Pancake day! Hundreds of thousands of householders in the UK will be descending on their kitchens today to make these delicious treats. Making yummy puds in the kitchen should be something you enjoy, but if you feel that your kitchen isn’t a part of your home you enjoy being in, it may be time to give it some TLC.

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  • Posted by Steve Playle Tuesday Feb 21, 2017

Diminishing resources but continuing consumer protection

Property maintenance scams that target elderly and vulnerable householders are not unusual. There is a hard core of rogue businesses out there who sadly see the elderly as ‘fair game’ when it comes to carrying out their work. I use the term ‘work’ in the most tenuous way – it is often not actually necessary, it is always carried out to an appalling standard and it is prohibitively and criminally over priced.

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  • Posted by Simon Ayers Friday Feb 10, 2017

How valuable is accreditation for small businesses?

It can be difficult to quantify the value of joining an accreditation body for your sector of business when there are so many around and they all claim to offer more or less the same services. Joining fees are often high, and you can never really judge how much business you are getting as a result of an accreditation. Getting lost in the vast amount of information available might make you regret looking into it in the first place

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  • Posted by Louise Cook Friday Feb 03, 2017

Go green with eco-friendly housing re-vamps

If you are thinking about making some updates to your home this year, it worth investing some time and money in decisions that will prepare it for the future. Homes that are energy efficient are not only better for the environment, they are more comfortable to live in and could save hundreds of pounds per year on energy bills. What’s more, if you decide to put it up for sale, your home may also be more attractive to buyers if you have invested in eco alternatives.

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  • Posted by Louise Cook Tuesday Jan 31, 2017

Be a savvy first-time buyer

Early forecasts for 2017 show that if you’re a first-time buyer, you’re in a good position as negotiating power is strong and there’s more choice then there’s been in recent times. As pressures also mount on the house building industry to provide enough supply of new homes, things are looking up for this pocket of homebuyers.

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  • Posted by Steve Playle Friday Jan 27, 2017

How smart do you want to be?

One of my roles as a member of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), in addition to my day job as a Trading Standards manager in London, is to take a lead on policy issues relating to energy. I was involved in providing critical friend analysis into the Green Deal and wasn’t at all surprised when it spectacularly failed in July 2015.

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  • Posted by Wendy Ayres Tuesday Jan 24, 2017

TrustMark Registered Firm W A Electrical Services pushes for greater consumer protection

I found my passion for being an electrician quite by chance, when I was working as an electrical assistant at a hospital. I liked the flexibility it gave me at the time, and still very much value that about the job. I’ve done various jobs throughout the years, and believe that anything you do should be to the best of your ability.

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  • Posted by Darryl Moran Friday Jan 20, 2017

Moran Roofing explain why TrustMark’s new feedback system boosts consumer protection

I started Moran Roofing in 1983, a continuing the trade introduced to me by my grandfather, we provide highly experienced and reliable roofing contractors. Over the years we have built up a long list of happy and satisfied customers, who frequently recommend our service to others. We have been working closely with Referenceline for many years to promote our services and show customers the high quality jobs we’ve done in the past

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  • Posted by Louise Cook Monday Jan 16, 2017

TrustMark’s guide to beating blue Monday

Today, the third Monday in January, marks what is considered by many to be the most miserable day of the year. With Christmas behind us for another year, there’s little to brighten up the dark nights and long days. If you find yourself feeling down today, we suggest keeping yourself busy and making some noticeable improvements to your home to make you feel good, which don’t have to cost to earth!

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  • Posted by Louise Cook Monday Jan 09, 2017

New Years’ resolutions for your home that will impress the neighbours

2016 has certainly been an interesting year for the trade industry here in the UK, with Brexit causing uncertainty in the economy and the Bonfield Review on each home matters being published last month. But as we draw the curtains on it talk now turns to New Years’ resolutions.

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  • Posted by Gregory Hunt Wednesday Jan 04, 2017

Mediation - just compromise

TrustMark appointed Hunt ADR Limited to be its mediation provider for disputes between TrustMark members and their consumer clients. We were also appointed to provide TrustMark with guidance on arbitration, including nominating arbitrators. Several months and mediations on, this blog looks at one recurring theme which, overcome, could make the mediation process far more useful to TrustMark and its members.

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  • Posted by Steve Playle Thursday Dec 22, 2016

Are we properly protected by the banking sector?

How things have changed over the years for both consumers and businesses when it comes to banking. I can’t remember the last time that I wrote a cheque and I’m not sure that I know where my chequebook actually is. These days, all my payments are made by credit card or via internet banking. I can access my bank account via my computer or phone and, after tapping in a few passwords, I can send money to whomever I owe. It is fast, convenient and time saving. I’m sure that businesses appreciate the ease with which they can pay suppliers and also the ease with which customers can now pay them.

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  • Posted by Louise Cook Monday Dec 19, 2016

FareShare Southern Central show their commitment to fighting food hunger & tackling waste

8.4 million people in the UK, the equivalent of the entire population of London, are currently finding it hard to afford to eat. FareShare strives to fight food hunger and tackle waste in a bid to redistribute food to give it to those who need it the most. In the past year alone, FareShare Southern Central have supplied 1,169,047 meals to communities, schools and households.

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  • Posted by Simon Ayers Thursday Dec 15, 2016

TrustMark’s Trading Standards approval hits home the importance of accreditation

In November 2016, we launched our national Trading Standards Approved scheme for tradespeople in the UK. Working with our primary authority partner, Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading standards, we are now able to offer all TrustMark Registered Firms a scheme that gives them national recognition with local reassurance.

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  • Posted by Louise Cook Friday Dec 09, 2016

Six common misconceptions about tradespeople

Being a hard-working tradesperson can be frustrating when you’re constantly faced with negative views from the media and the public. So it might be surprising to learn that 9 out of 10 jobs go off without any complaints. This year we’ve been trying to educate the public that the current image of the ‘white van man’ is woefully out of date. It’s time to change the ‘cowboy builder’ stereotype, and challenge some common misconceptions that we can all be guilty of making when we think of tradespeople.

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  • Posted by Steve Playle Monday Dec 05, 2016

Lifting the lid on business advice

Trading Standards Officers have enormous responsibility for enforcing a vast array of regulations and I think that is why I still find my job so interesting after all these years. To illustrate the point, we had an obscure enquiry this week about the rules regarding the marketing of baby milk, which had us scratching around the office looking for the relevant legislation.

  • Posted by Simon Ayers Monday Nov 28, 2016

Promoting true professionalism as a social enterprise

As TrustMark nears a close on its 10th Anniversary year, we nostalgically look back on how we got to this point. This year we’ve been campaigning heavily to promote reputable tradespeople, and shone light into the daily activities of our ten TrustMark Ambassadors, all of whom excel in customer service, trading practices and standards of workmanship.

  • Posted by Steve Playle Friday Nov 25, 2016

Do your Christmas lights comply with current safety standards?

It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to Christmas and how we are going to decorate our homes to get us into the festive spirit. I am actually ahead of the game and dug out my external lights from the garage at the weekend. I wasn’t sure if they needed replacing – they are about ten years old and I remember that a few of the lights weren’t working last year. They are the LED variety and plug into the mains but operate at a low voltage via a transformer kept indoors.

  • Posted by Louise Cook Wednesday Nov 23, 2016

Don’t say no to November gardening!

Gardening in winter… not the most attractive prospect to many of us it must be said. However, some careful planning will go a long way to give you the garden you’ll be longing for come spring time.





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TrustMark's blog features tips, advice and inspiration for homeowners on all repair and home improvement issues and showcases some of the best projects our registered tradespeople have worked on.

With insight from our expert contributors, including Trading Standards expert Steve Playle, we hope you enjoy our blog and are able to take away helpful information and be inspired to do work on your homes.