At TrustMark, we are only too well aware of how difficult it can be to find a reliable tradesperson, especially if you don’t have the luxury of recommendations from family or friends.
One of the most important functions of TrustMark is to signpost consumers to vetted tradespeople capable of delivering a level playing field of quality, whether they require a full house rewire or a quick refresh of paintwork.
All TrustMark tradespeople have their work annually assessed by their Scheme Provider (leading organisations within their sector), and the TrustMark Code of Conduct ensures robust additional consumer protection measures are in place.
Finding the right business is only half the battle. Over the last 14 years, TrustMark has found the main reason for difficulties springing up between a customer and their contracted business is communication, or rather a breakdown of communication.
Generally, this is due to a fundamental misunderstanding of what has been requested, or what the customer perceives has been included in a quote, rather than any malice on either side. These might be small elements, however they tend to escalate, especially if coming as a nasty surprise at the end of a project.
Once these small misunderstandings are made, they can lie undetected until the end of a project, manifesting themselves in costly errors and, worse still, a complete loss of trust.
TrustMark has recently launched our Consumer & Business communication Portals to help this situation as much as possible.
TrustMark businesses can claim their portal accounts here, and consumers can register for theirs here.
Businesses can update their profile to include logos and photographs of previous work, and additional detail about the locations they work in, as well as any relevant areas of speciality.
Consumers can as ever, use the TrustMark Online Directory to search for a tradesperson local to them, safe in the knowledge they have been thoroughly vetted for technical competence, customer service and trading practices. Once they are logged into their consumer portal, they will also be able to request quotes for up to three business, free of charge and directly within the TrustMark system.
These requests should ideally contain as much information as possible, however, if anything has been missed, contacted businesses can ask for additional details. Photographs and documents (such as planning documents) can be shared through the secure system, ensuring both parties have complete alignment and understanding of expectations.
Businesses can provide quotes within the system, which their customers can accept or reject.
The communication does not end there. Throughout the project, either party can maintain a written record of communication in one convenient place. This can be used to describe the evolution of the project (such as any additional requests and associated costs) and can confirm mutual agreement and acknowledgement of such changes.
All this detail is visible to both parties and is invaluable to a swift resolution of any areas of dispute.
Businesses using the system have access to a range of templates, such as quotes and invoices, helping them easily create documents that are compliant, professional and speedily generated. These records also remain within the portal, helping both parties to see exactly what was requested and what was promised, in one convenient place.
By using the portals, both consumers and businesses have the peace-of-mind that there is a complete record of any agreement made and that they only have to look in one place to see it! This level of transparency and fairness is entirely in line with TrustMark’s aims to protect consumers, and to champion the businesses we know are doing the right thing.
You can find out more about the TrustMark portals and sign-up yourself on the TrustMark website.