As the Government Endorsed Quality Scheme for consumers seeking improvements to their homes, TrustMark takes pride in putting people in contact with competent, vetted tradespeople that have made a commitment to good customer service and trading practices.
One of the ways we provide additional peace-of-mind is that, in the event something does go wrong, we have available a suite of remedies to ensure the consumer is protected when using a TrustMark Registered Business.
If you are unhappy with any aspect of a project being carried out in your home, there are several measures you can take to make it easier to get things put right. Here we examine how you can protect yourself:
Right from the start of your relationship with your tradesperson, make sure you keep all agreements in writing. This should include timelines, milestones and costs. Having this information in writing will be very useful evidence if you do get into a dispute.
If you are concerned about the way a project is progressing, or believe the finished results do not tally with what was agreed, taking photographs can be a useful way of recording these problems. This will be particularly useful if you have to involve other organisations (such as the TrustMark Scheme Provider) in these discussions.
Although this may seem obvious, it is vital that you notify your tradesperson of a grievance at the first possible opportunity. This gives them the opportunity to correct anything as well as clear up any miscommunications. If this initial discussion does not resolve the issue, you should ask for a copy of their official complaints process.
Write a calm, objective account of your complaint, highlighting how the reality varies from the written agreements that were put in place at project commencement. Describe events and developments clearly, including the relevant dates of previous correspondence relating to your complaint. You should also include photographic evidence to support your complaint and a clear outline of your expectations.
The company in question must be given time to respond to your complaint (you could include a deadline for response in your original complaint.) Alternatively, their complaints process may outline expected timescales for response.
If you are not happy with the response you have received from the firm you are dealing with, there are various ways you can escalate your complaint. If the company is large you may wish to take this above the person you have been dealing with (for instance to the Chief Executive Officer), or if the company is with a trade body (such as a TrustMark Scheme Provider) you can open a complaint with this organisation.
When using a TrustMark Registered Business you have an additional layer of protection in place. If the company in question does not provide satisfaction in relation to a complaint, the consumer is able to escalate matters to their Scheme Provider. TrustMark Scheme Providers are a network of professional bodies that are experts in their individual fields. All Registered Businesses can only join TrustMark through a Scheme Provider, which have various prerequisites particular to the sectors they represent.
In the rare exceptions when a Scheme Provider cannot resolve matters through open discussion, TrustMark requires all Scheme Providers offer Independent Mediation services to bring the situation to a satisfactory conclusion.
While the outlined process will help resolve disputes and ensure customers always get what they need and expect, TrustMark is as concerned with prevention as with cure. By implementing a thorough vetting process (actioned through the network of Scheme Providers) which checks the technical competence, customer service and trading practices of applying Registered Businesses, TrustMark is working towards a landscape in which disputes are a rarity.
If you are looking for a tradesperson to carry out work in or around your home, you can find a network of Registered Businesses on the TrustMark Online Directory.
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
TrustMark is the Government Endorsed Quality Scheme that covers work a consumer chooses to have carried out in or around their home