Complaints Process

3 stage process for resolving your complaints

Helping you if things go wrong

Quality assurance and effective consumer protection is at the heart of everything TrustMark aims to deliver.

However, we recognise that occasionally things may go wrong and it is important that if this happens you can access a clear, user-friendly process that ensures that complaints are resolved efficiently and fairly.

This video explains the 3 stage process of raising a complaint against a tradesperson.

Each stage should be completed in the order shown, as skipping any stage will impact your ability to escalate to stage 3 if you need to.

Types of complaint that do not fall under the TrustMark complaint process

  1. The business that carried out the work no longer holds an active registration with TrustMark

  2. The business was not registered with TrustMark at the time they did the work

  3. The work was completed more than 6 years ago 

    In England, Wales & NI, there is a statutory time limit for which to make claims under the Limitation Act 1980. In Scotland, it is 5 years. As such, complaints older than this cannot be considered. Please note that in order to access our independent dispute resolution service provided by the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman (DRO) the complaint must be made within 12 months of your initial contact to the Registered Business.

  4. Your Complaint is regarding a financial, contractual or commercial matter

    TrustMark is unable to investigate if your complaint is related to a financial or commercial matter as these are contractual matters between you and the business. You may wish to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or seek independent legal advice.

  5. If you or the business have instigated legal action
    Should the legal action result in a successful claim in favour of you as the consumer please do let TrustMark know.
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Stage 1: Raise your complaint with the Registered Business that carried out the work

When raising your complaint with the Registered Business we recommend that you follow the below guidance.

  • Contact the business and explain your concerns

  • Set out why you are not satisfied and what you would like them to do to put it right

  • Allow the Registered Business a reasonable amount of time to respond and rectify any issues

  • If you haven’t already done so, ensure that you have all the relevant evidence to hand such as quotations, contracts, pictures and follow-up in writing

  • Keep a record of any communications, deadlines and agreements made with the business.

To assist you, we have provided a template letter should you wish to use it to make contact with the Registered Business. Further support and guidance regarding raising your complaint is available from our partners Consumer Friend or from Citizens Advice.

Stage 2: Escalate to the business's Scheme Provider

If you are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution with the business, the next stage in the process is to escalate the complaint to the business’s Scheme Provider.

Scheme Providers are the organisations that businesses gain their TrustMark registration through, they can be either trade associations, certification bodies or Competent Person Schemes.

The Scheme Provider should then investigate your complaint and mediate between you and their member to seek a resolution. Some Scheme Providers may have a Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider who they use to help manage complaints on their behalf.

If you are unsure who is the Scheme Provider you need to contact, you can search for the Registered Business on the “Find A Business” page on our website. Under the details of the business you will see the Scheme Provider they are registered with.

Some businesses may be registered with more than one Scheme Provider in which case you will need to check the trades covered under each to ensure you contact the right one. If you are not sure which is the right Scheme Provider please contact us and one of our team will be happy to point you in the right direction or escalate your concerns to the Scheme Provider for you. 

Stage 3: Contact the Dispute Resolution Ombudsman

If your dispute remains unresolved after the previous two stages, you may escalate your complaint to the DRO provided the following criteria have been met:

  1. You have raised your dispute with the TrustMark Registered Business. (Stage 1)

  2. You have escalated the dispute to the business’s Scheme Provider. (Stage 2) If you approach the DRO without previously escalating your complaint to the Scheme Provider, you will be directed to TrustMark who will signpost you to the appropriate Scheme Provider. The Scheme Provider will then have an additional 30 days to investigate the dispute.

  3. You have either:

    (a) received a final response from the TrustMark Registered Business and/or Scheme Provider and you are still not satisfied with the response.

    (b) 12 weeks have elapsed since you made your initial complaint.

  4. The dispute is escalated to the DRO within 12 months of initial complaint to the Registered Business.

The DRO cannot consider complaints if:

  1. Your complaint is against a business that has entered into administration, liquidation or who has ceased trading.

  2. Your complaint is against a business that is either not currently registered with TrustMark or was not registered with TrustMark at the time the works were undertaken.

  3. Your complaint is not made as, or on behalf of, a private individual.

  4. Your claim is in relation to commercial disputes (such as financial or contractual) or claims for compensation.

  5. Your complaint is being, or has been dealt with by a court or another tribunal/Ombudsman scheme or you have previously accepted a resolution via a Scheme Provider’s ADR service as a full or final settlement, or previously entered into a binding ADR process such as arbitration.

  6. Legal action has been instigated by either the consumer or the Registered Business as a result of the complaint.

Further information on the DRO, how they can help and options of how you can raise your complaint with them can be found below.

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Complaint Support

If you need additional guidance with the process, you can contact the TrustMark Disputes Team for complaint support below.

TrustMark’s Role and Responsibilities in relation to complaints

Our role is not to investigate specific consumer complaints but to ensure that the Scheme Provider has handled the complaint appropriately, correctly and in accordance with their dispute procedures. They in turn must ensure that Registered Businesses have done the same.

You can find more information about TrustMark's role and responsibilities in relation to complaints here: