At TrustMark we completely understand that a personal recommendation from a previously satisfied customer can be the best thing for a business. As such it is no surprise that websites allowing customers to provide reviews of work carried out by tradespeople in their homes have been tremendously popular with both businesses and consumers.
For consumers these (presumably) impartial reviews help signpost them to reputable and reliable tradespeople when no personal recommendation is available to them, and a trader with a portfolio of glowing testimony can reap the benefits of their previous success and hard work.
It would appear to be a win-win scenario.
However there are some downsides to these types of review sites which can be equally detrimental to consumers and trade:
As with so many things, reviews can be faked and if these reviews are unverified there is a real risk of traders supplying wildly exaggerated accounts of their abilities and experience on behalf of their customers.
Inevitably such practices defeat the object of review sites when it comes to providing adequate consumer protection and choice.
Some consumers are not above treating the reviews they leave as bargaining chips. Naturally it makes sense to withhold a positive review until the work is satisfactorily completed, but a malicious review could be extremely damaging to a trader who may feel at the mercy of consumers refusing to engage in the proper complaints process.
While we appreciate there are some incredibly well informed consumers out there (and all tradespeople are ultimately consumers too), many people lack technical knowledge about the details of their installation – which is why they contracted professionals in the first place.
As such, while the majority of customers may be able to assess the visible elements of the job and the service they’ve received, it is unlikely their review will accurately identify technical competence.
TrustMark is fully aware of the importance of customer service and good trading practices (they are two of our three cornerstones of quality), however from a safety point of view, technical competence is paramount. This is the reason that all TrustMark Registered Businesses are vetted and have their work independently inspected to ensure it meets the required standards for safety. Additionally, all TrustMark Registered Businesses have committed to providing high quality customer service and good, ethical trading practices.
By having each installer assessed by an independent expert in their field, TrustMark provides the best possible assurances of safety, competence and quality. This peace of mind gives the best choice and guidance when it comes to selecting a tradesperson to carry out work in or around your home.
TrustMark's blog features tips, advice and inspiration for homeowners
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best projects our registered tradespeople have worked on.
With insight from our expert contributors, including Trading
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TrustMark is the Government Endorsed Quality Scheme that covers work a consumer chooses to have carried out in or around their home